Executive Summary & Key Findings of Deer Management Issues in an Urban Setting

Survey Dates: March 23-26, 2009
400 Sample -- Margin of Error ±5.0%

Insyght Institute is a nonprofit organization that supports research and identifies potential solutions to pressing policy issues that block the state, local communities, individual citizens, government agencies, nonprofits, educational, and other institutions and for-profit businesses from reaching their full potential, contributing to society, prospering, succeeding and participating in the decisions that affect them.


Insyght Institute, headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, recently commissioned Target-Insyght to conduct a community survey to evaluate urban dweller attitudes and the actions they feel need to be taken on issues related to deer management in an urban setting. The City of Rochester Hills, Michigan, was selected as the community to be surveyed.

Rochester Hills was selected because the City’s growth and expansion depend on the encroachment of natural habitat that has been the home of an established population of deer. Secondly, since 2008, the City has a documented history of deer management planning and actions. In 2009, Rochester Hills briefly conducted and then abruptly canceled a deer culling operation to reduce the deer population on City-owned property. In 2009, the City Council established the Deer Management Advisory Committee. (DMAC). The makeup of the committee included citizen/resident members, Council members, and may include staff advisors from the City’s Parks and Forestry Department. The citizen/resident members were balanced to represent both side of the lethal-nonlethal issue of deer management.

The Michigan Traffic Crash Facts website maintained by University of Michigan in 2018 ranked Rochester Hills City seventh among 76 communities with the most deer-vehicle accidents. (reported by MLIVEcom – October 16, 2019.

This study focused on several key areas, including:

  • Where does deer management rank in importance of City issues needing to be addressed?
  • What is the rating of the job the City is doing in managing the deer population?
  • What are the primary deer conflicts and/or issues with residents?
  • What are the resident feelings about the presence of deer in the City of Rochester Hills?
  • What are the views of deer population size among residents?
  • Should the City use lethal or nonlethal methods?
  • What actions have the residents taken on the personal property in deer management?

This document summarizes and describes the key findings from the study.

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