The Ludington, Michigan City Council is considering hiring the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to slaughter deer within the city using $50,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, which were provided to the city as a result of government shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Friends of Animals believes this scheme is inhumane, unnecessary and a waste of money. Please contact Mayor Steve Miller at and City Manager Mitch Foster at or by calling 231-845-6237and tell them you do not support killing deer and will boycott the resort town this summer if they move forward with such bloodshed.

The Councilors are considering this wrong-headed plan based on signatures of a measly 83 residents, who undoubtedly were told by deer hunters that pumping bullets or arrows into deer stops all of them from nibbling on unprotected azalea bushes, or some such ludicrous thing.

That, of course, is not true. Shooting deer doesn’t keep those left behind off roads, either. In fact, it moves them around and makes them more likely to enter roads without caution.

Public education is the sane alternative to this ludicrous plan. The town should be encouraging residents to change the type of plants and shrubs they have in their yards. Friends of Animals also advocate for other methods to protect areas from heavy browsing, like fencing that can inconspicuously protect sensitive plants and spray repellents.

Bullets and the havoc they produce are not decent solutions for living with neighboring wildlife. Shooting deer is cruel, dangerous and feeds the mentality that the only good deer is a dead one. While 6.7% of Michigan’s residents have paid hunting licenses, more than 93% of residents opt for wildlife-watching or other non-violent pursuits.

Ludington Council is out of step with the majority of people who live in Michigan.