No need for deer tracking

There are plenty of deer in the City of Grand Haven. That’s not a scientific statement; it’s a simple observation.
Nov 1, 2013

Take a walk or a drive through the city during the early morning or late evening hours, and you’re sure to see at least a few deer. City residents are constantly posting photos of deer camping out in their small yards and munching on hostas and other ornamental plants.

It’s no secret that the urban deer population is on the rise.

A Grand Valley State University professor has suggested to Grand Haven City Council a two-year study to trap, then radio tag more than a dozen deer. This study would track the animals, see where they’re moving and what they’re eating, and would aid the city in then making a deer management plan.

But seriously, does the city really need to spend nearly $20,000 on a two-year study to find out what the deer are doing?

There’s no need to complicate the issue. The deer population in the city is on the rise. The city can just as easily decide what action to be taken on the ballooning deer numbers now as in two years.

There’s an old saying that seems applicable here: If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck, then it’s a duck. Basically, this means that there’s no need to over-complicate an issue.

There are too many deer in the city. Something needs to be done about it or we risk running into the problems that occur with overpopulation, ranging from starvation to disease and increased car-deer accidents.

There’s no reason to spend $20,000 and wait two years to learn what we already know.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



They should let a controlled hunt happen like they do at Coast Guard Park and P.J. Hoffmaster. I know 3 areas where I see very healthy looking dear and some really nice Bucks. One is the wooded area behind Starlight Lanes, there were 8 deer munching on the low branches in the overflow lot last weekend. Another place is Harbor Island (obviously), and the last one I know of is the entire area from Mulligans Hollow to Duncan's woods. I could probably tell you the routes they are moving as could any seasoned hunter. And we would do it just for the right to hunt them. My apologies if this statement offended any Animal Rights Activists. I also believe in animal rights, I believe they have the right to be eaten. NOM NOM.


I track em all the way to my dinner!


I'm not a hunter, but in no way am I against hunting and to me this whole "there's a huge herd of deer poised to overrun the city and we need to take action now" is a completely bogus non-issue.

I spend a lot of time out in the woods with my cameras and me and the wife ride around town frequently in the evening to see what we can see and at NO time in the last 6 months have we seen anything close to what you'd call a herd of deer. Maybe a couple here, 3 over there, another couple over there.....and I'd be willing to bet they're the same deer every night. A couple dozen deer, moving in and around in a wetland area is in no way a plague. Just leave 'em alone and they'll go home, wagging their tails behind them. :-)

We saw a whopping 7 deer tonight, just before dark. Lock your doors and turn off the lights, we're going to be overrun by this mythical herd of renegade deer. We saw 6 or 7 rabbits too and a flock of geese. Where's the outcry for exterminating them also??

Let's worry about something really important, like smelly dumpsters.



Why not take that 20 grand and use it as a bounty on the deer. Say bag a buck in the city limits get $100. Bag a doe $200, I'll bet it would'nt take to long and the "deer problem" would go away. I just get sick of hearing about it all the time.


By all means, let's not be scientific! Facts just make everything so complicated . . .


Just the other day I was at Mobil getting gas, two does and two yearlings walked thru the parking lot heading east. Traffic stopped and let them thru, they made their way into Shell's parking lot and then into Ray's drive in parking lot....Maybe the mom's were getting them

One was obviously a swamp deer due to the color, was this a family group or herd? I'm still wondering if they commuting or lost? 31 and Washington isn't and area they'd call home...


This is another fabricated story by the Tribune, they have been running these stories every week trying to get people up in the air and make enemies of neighbors just like the last time all of this came up. There are a few deer in our City, just like any other City along with turkeys, rabbits, ducks, squirrels and geese but that doesn't mean people need to go around blowing their heads off just because they can. I am surprised at the mentality of some of these people that respond to the wildlife stories, lets move on to the highway issue in the City and the bad streets that need repair.


Agreed 100%. I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed in the mentality.

I don't know why the ruling class insist on the constant negativity. Run the Christmas lightshow out of town, try to kill off the SMALL deer population, the almost constant harrassment of boaters duing the summer months, the brouhaha over the Coast Guard sign on the hill....what's next?

With Grand Haven at the mouth of the Grand River we have a unique natural resource. If those in charge had any vision whatsoever they'd use the natural world angle as a selling point to bring more visitors into town. Oh wait, there's a small group that think they're in charge and if they don't like it then that's that. The rest of us don't have a voice? The fact that the DDA doesn't want more visitors is an anomaly. Without a disenting vote, everyone I've talked to about these issues agrees that the focus of the city fathers is out of synch with their constiuents.

It's time to get some new blood in place in this town and soon. If we keep on with the way it's been going the last couple years we'll soon be seeing cobwebs hanging from downtown stores and the things that make this area special will gradually disappear due to apathy.

I'd love to run for office, but the wife won't let me. I think we need someone in charge who can call a spade a spade and get to the lowest common denominator of any problem. She's says I'm too brusque and I'd just tick people off. She doesn't want me getting shot by a home owner who just lost her prize Hostas to a tresspassing deer. :-)


Sorry "LessThanAmused", Not everyone who writes comments has a low mentality,just a few who love to argue everything just for the sake of doing it. I like your ideas, we do need new blood in the City Council starting with the Mayor who seems to be the only one who runs for that job in the primaries. Why don't you throw your hat in the ring the next time and see what happens and maybe just maybe things will get better.

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