ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) - Protesters are trying to stop a deer cull in Ann Arbor.
Sharpshooters set to take aim at dozens of deer Monday night, as the city begins efforts to thin the herd. But protesters are pulling out all the stops to halt the deer cull before it can even begin.
'Sharpshooters working' warning signs are posted at 11 Ann Arbor city parks and the University of Michigan's Arboretum - closed for a City Council approved deer cull.
But the group, friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife In Nature or FAAWN, have signs of their own.
"We know we can't stop it because there are political powers in place," said Lisa Abrams, FAAWN.
"It is defending the lives of those who can't defend themselves," said Noor Fahmy, a U of M staff member.
Fahmy was one of two people who saw this march through the campus of the University of Michigan and instantly joined the cause.
"As residents we should have a say, not just our governing board," he said. "So I'm glad we took a detour and joined the protest today."
This is the second year of the effort to reduce the deer population in Ann Arbor. killing 63 deer in 2016. The city is paying $150,000 to hired guns..
"That’s another ridiculous expense," said Ron, a protester.
The city is carrying out this action to mixed opinions among neighbors.
"There are too many deer, truly," said Carolyn Leopard. "They are always crossing the street. I see them everywhere and they are decimating the landscape."
This comes after the city paid the same organization, White Buffalo, to tranquilize and sterilize dozens of deer in the city.
"Some people in our group aren't in favor of sterilization," Abrams said. "But enough of us are, because it's better than the alternative of killing."
But it’s not just the deer's safety FAAWN is concerned about. During last year's deer cull they saw two men out sledding in Cedar Bend Park.
Then during the protest, a jogger entered the restricted zone during the active hunt.
The signs are posted but it’s clear - they aren't keeping everyone out. FOX 2 watched as an officer posted here attempted to get the jogger's attention but couldn't.
He then radioed ahead, letting sharpshooters in the area know they had a human on the loose. The message received and the jogger lives to run another day.
The hunters have set their sights to cull up to 100 deer over the next two weeks. The shootings take place between 3 p.m. and midnight.