ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) – Ann Arbor has approved a plan to hire sharpshooters to kill deer in the city each winter.

The City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of using the lethal approach in the next four years, starting with 100 deer this winter. Officials plan to keep options open about possibly using deer fertility control in the future.

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The culls are to be carried out at night by trained shooters, who will lure deer using bait piles and aim to kill each deer with one shot to the head.

The vote follows more than a year of city discussions and study. Complaints from some residents about damage to landscaping and concerns about deer-vehicle crashes prompted study of the issue.

Mayor Christopher Taylor cast the lone dissenting vote, according to the Ann Arbor News.

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Opponents say killings are unwarranted and inhumane. Council Member Jane Lumm agreed that it was an emotional choice, but said it was ultimately the best way to control the deer population and protect the safety of citizens.

“None of us are saying, ‘This is great, we can’t wait to do this.’ We just feel it’s the responsible and necessary thing to do,” Lumm said.”No one wants to kill deer. We’re all animal lovers.”

The City of Ann Arbor completed two aerial surveys of the deer population earlier this year. The first survey on February 10 counted 116 deer and the second survey onMarch 6  counted 168 deer. The animals are concentrated in the north and east sides of the city, as well as areas along the Huron River.

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