By Mike Kruzman / Jessica Mathews /

After a pause last year, deer culling will resume at a local Metropark.

To address concerns of the overabundance of deer in the Metroparks’ 13 parks system, the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority Board authorized conducting white-tailed deer culls in some of those parks, including Kensington, back in 1999. The practice has continued nearly every year since, but was canceled last year due to a threat of violence.

Metroparks Chief of Marketing and Communications Danielle Mauter says in early 2021, the Metroparks committed to conducting a comprehensive review of evolving research and best practices for managing white-tailed deer populations and managing their corresponding ecosystems.

The plan states an understanding and appreciation of the wide range of passionate views that the issue evokes, but also that research continues to support culling as the most effective and humane way to protect the health and welfare of the population, as well as the ecosystem that sustains them.

Since the inception of the deer management program in 1999, several uncommon plant species are once again being observed in the parks, and in many instances, overall ecosystem health is improving. Mauter says staff is currently performing aerial surveys across the park system in order to calculate updated deer herd population numbers. The need for any deer management activities will be determined based on those numbers and the procedures outlined in the Deer Herd and Ecosystem Management Plan.

Mauter said to ensure the safety of their police offers and staff, exact dates of any required deer culls with not be published publicly. She stressed that safety is of utmost importance and all park closures will be planned with a keen focus on ensuring community safety and the safety of those conducting any needed deer culling activity. Additionally, weather conditions are a key factor and could impact the ability to perform a cull on any specific date.

Park closures for any planned culls would occur at 3 pm on those days with closure signage clearly posted.

A full copy of the Authority’s management plan can be found through the link below.