Lake Lansing Park-North is used year round by visitors for nature hikes, trail running, picnicking. Efforts from park staff, the Mid-Michigan Stewardship network, volunteers, and other organizations help keep the parks clean, operational, and natural. It has become increasingly apparent that all of these efforts may be in vain, we don not keep the deer population under control. The growth of our cities, lack of natural predators, and the fact that there is no hunting within park property has made Lake Lansing Park-North essentially an ideal shelter for the local deer population.
We are very proud of the natural beauty of our parks. Deer are certainly a part of the natural wildlife that we want to preserve, however, it is important we make sure the deer population is in balance with the rest of nature. When one part of nature begins to override everything else, the effects can be devastating. We are working to maintain a balance so that our parks remain “exceptional in nature” for everyone to enjoy.
Before a special deer hunt can occur, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires a municipality to develop a deer management plan. In 2012 the Ingham County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution approving the Lake Lansing Park-North Deer Management Plan. Before the hunt was approved park staff built four deer enclosures in the park to determine the impact deer have on the local vegetation and compiled data that supported having a hunt. Ingham County Parks will continue to work in cooperation with Meridian Township and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on solutions to deer overpopulation. Click here to view the Ingham County Deer Management Plan.
Local deer over-population has resulted in increasing damage to landscaping, more vehicle/deer accidents, concern for public health, and a disruption to the ecological balance of natural areas. In an effort to reduce the over-population of deer within Lake Lansing Park-North, a managed harvest has been coordinated with Meridian Township and occurs annually during the regular hunting season from October 1st through January 1st. The managed hunt is NOT open to the general public. Only pre-approved qualified, competent, and experienced hunters will be allowed to access Lake Lansing Park-North for the managed harvest. Neighboring property owners of Lake Lansing Park-North are notified prior to a harvest occurring.
- All hunting locations are within state regulatory distances from homes and park trails
- Individuals are not allowed to walk in and start hunting, they must first be pre-approved thru Meridian Township officials and take a required test
- The hunt is restricted to bow hunting during the months of October, November, and December
- Hunters are allowed to keep the first deer taken, but all remaining deer will be donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger provides funding for the processing fee, which leads to 1,126 pounds of venison donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank through last year's Meridian Township deer hunt.
If you would like to be added to the hunter waiting list for the harvest, please e-mail your name, address, and contact information to Jane Greenway at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-853-4610. If space is available, you will be contacted to complete an application.
For additional details regarding the managed deer harvest, please visit Meridian Township's Managed Deer Harvest page.