Public Safety

Deer Management

Urban White-Tailed Deer Conflict Management

Are you having trouble with deer?  Please fill out this survey so we can better understand locations and the types of damage they have caused.

The City of Big Rapids and The Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division understand the conflicts between white-tailed deer and the community. We recognize the deer-vehicle traffic crashes, destruction of landscaping and other property loss created by an excess of deer in urban/suburban areas like Big Rapids where deer populations are abundant.

A variety of deer management tools, both lethal and non-lethal, are available for municipal and certain privately-owned lands. Some of the non-lethal options include fencing and repellants. The City of Big Rapids working in conjunction with the DNR Wildlife Division prohibit translocation and sterilization of deer.

Established in 1991, the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger is an all-volunteer, 501c3 nonprofit organization, that coordinates participating licensed game processors throughout the state as drop off locations for whitetail deer harvested by hunters during the hunting season.


Deer Resistant Gardening

Whitetail deer prefer consuming browse, tender leaves, twigs and other low-lying vegetation on bushes and trees. This can include some ornamental plants used for landscaping. Ornamental plants may be more attractive to deer because they are fertilized and irrigated.

There are several plants which are moderately deer-resistant, follow the link to check out Michigan State University’s article on deer-resistant plants for homeowners

Non-lethal Deer Deterrents

Fencing, tree shelters, wire cages and plastic netting can be used to prevent browse damage and bark stripping.  Repellents work by emitting an alarming odor or bad taste that repels deer.