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DNR public survey, open through April 16, seeks broad input on deer management

As part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Deer Management Initiative process, several members of the group have collaborated with a social scientist from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University to craft a questionnaire for the public, aimed at assessing people’s opinions and perceptions about deer.

The initiative, established earlier this year, is working to address current and future deer-related challenges facing the DNR and the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. It brings together members of the public and representatives from various stakeholder groups to offer diverse perspectives on deer management topics.

As part of the 2024 Deer Management Initiative process, a subgroup of participants volunteered to work with a social scientist to formulate the questionnaire, which seeks input on current deer management practices and the overall significance of deer in residents’ daily lives. The data gathered will provide additional insights for future discussions and subsequent recommendations.

"We extended this opportunity to work on the questionnaire when the group initially convened, and many readily jumped in to help develop it," said Chad Stewart, DNR deer, elk and moose management specialist.

"We recognized our proficiency in surveying hunters but acknowledged a gap in gauging general public attitudes and views toward deer more broadly,” he said. “We want to learn more about how important deer are to our residents, what trends they see in their local areas, and what concerns they may have about deer in our state.

“That’s why we’ve opted to make these questions available through an online survey that is accessible to everyone, albeit with certain limitations on interpretation. This data will remain valuable, offering insights into how residents across the state perceive deer."

Take the survey

All residents, regardless of their interest in or knowledge of deer, are encouraged to participate. Completing the survey should take no more than five minutes.

Survey findings initially will inform members of the Deer Management Initiative team about Michigan residents' attitudes toward deer and deer management, and eventually be made available to the public.

A link to the survey, open now through April 16, is available at

Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available for download. Caption information follows.

  • Deer: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking residents' opinions and perceptions about deer via an online survey, as part of the DNR's Deer Management Initiative process. The survey, open now through April 16, is available at