Killing Ann Arbor’s deer, bringing native fish back to the Huron, saving Michigan’s bats, and the music of Heather Evans… on this weekend’s edition of the Saturday Six Pack


This evening, on a special episode of the Saturday Six Pack, we’ll be changing course a bit and discussing wildlife. To be more specific, we’ll be talking about killing deer, saving bats, and making habitats for native fish.

During our first segment, we’ll be discussing Ann Arbor’s somewhat controversial deer cull with U-M Associate Professor Rebecca Hardin, the host of WCBN’s environmental news show It’s Hot in Here, and our old friend Ben Connor Barrie, the editor of the award-winning Annarbour blog Damn Arbor. If all goes according to plan, Hardin, whose research deals with human/wildlife interaction and wildlife management, and Connor Barrie, who once grilled deer meat live on the Saturday Six Pack, will be joining me in a lively discussion on the recent growth of the deer population in Ann Arbor, the various solutions that have been considered, the ongoing debate, and plan that was recently adopted by Ann Arbor City Council. [I’ve heard a rumor that a listener in Ann Arbor may be delivering deer stew to the studio, but, as of right now, I can’t confirm this.]

And, during the second segment, we’ll be talking local fish habitats with Elizabeth Riggs, the deputy director of the Huron River Watershed Council, and Schultz Outfitters fly fishing guide James Hughes, both of whom will likely be coming to the show directly from Frog Island Park, where, tomorrow morning, folks are going to be gathering to build a canoe landing. [If you’re interested in helping clear brush, just show up at the north end of Frog Island Park, by the Forest Avenue bridge, between 8:30 AM and noon. More details can be found on Facebook.] Among other things, I’m sure we’ll be discussing the current state of the Huron as it flows though Ypsi, the kinds of fish that call our part of the river home, and their efforts to both bring back native species in significant numbers and decrease the number of non-natives. So, if you have an interest in fish habitat restoration, be sure to tune in at 6:30.

And, during the the third segment, we’ll welcome Aja Marcato, the conservation programing director at the Organization for Bat Conservation, who will be coming on to talk about Michigan’s bat population. [She tells me she’ll be bringing at least one bat with her into the studio.] Among other things, I’m sure we’ll discuss why bats are so important to our ecosystem, the various species that call Michigan home, and the work being done to increase their numbers.

And, once we’ve gotten the bats out of the studio, we’ll turn our attention back to the human world with musician Heather Evans, who will be playing a few songs for us, and answering our questions about her recent decision to relocate to Ann Arbor from Marquette. [If you follow that last link, you’re see video of Heather performing.]

Oh, and, speaking of music, I should mention that our part-time music director, the great Jim Cherewick, will be back with us this week, providing musical accompaniment throughout. [It’s been requested that he cover the Ted Nugent song Fred Bear, but he’s yet to let me know if he intends to accept the challenge.]

And, here, thanks to AM 1700 senior graphic designer Kate de Fuccio, is this week’s poster, in case any of you want to print copies and distribute them in the Meijer’s parking lot.



Unless you live inside the AM 1700 studio, chances are you won’t be able to pick the show up on your radio. As that’s the case, I’d recommend streaming the show online, which you can do either on the AM1700 website or by way of

And for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the show, and need to get caught up, you can listen to the entire archive on iTunes. If you start right now, and listen to everything at double speed, but you can do it.

One last thing… If you’d like to tell your friends and neighbors about the program, feel free to share the Facebook event listing.

And do call us if you have a chance. We love phone calls. So please scratch this number into the cinder block wall of the recreation room of whichever facility you’ve been assigned to… 734.217.8624… and call us between 6:00 and 8:00 this Saturday evening. The show is nothing without you. Sure, sometimes it’s nothing even with you, that’s true, but usually you make it better.

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  1. Erika Nelson
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    FYI: Bats are the most frequent source of human rabies infections in the US.

  2. Posted November 14, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    How are you doing, Erika? Are you done with your shots?

    [note to readers: Erika’s case was brought on my a rabid fox bite.]

    While I’ve never looked into it, it would imagine that the risk posed by bats is far outweighed by the good that they do. If you have evidence to the contrary, though, let me know and I’ll bring it up during the show.

  3. Erika Nelson
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Haha. I was just kidding, in light of my personal expertise on rabies. I also recently read the book “Rabid” which is a history of the disease. The series of shots lasts 28 days, so I was done back in April. ;)

    The reason that bats are the main source of human infection is that they tend to bite people when they are sleeping, or people disregard the bites because they are so small and seemingly insignificant. Many people just don’t realize that they can carry rabies.

    The thing with rabies is that it is an all or nothing deal. If you get it (show symptoms), you die. There has only been one case of someone surviving rabies (from a bat bite, actually) and that was basically the equivalent of a miracle. Also, she suffered brain damage.

    I absolutely agree that bats overall do far more good than harm, no question.

  4. Kristin
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I feel bad for Erika, but I want to see the bat. I have venison, and a grizzled hunter. If I brought one or both could I say “hey?”

  5. Anonymous
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    There’s a great episode of Radio Lab about a girl that dies fro rabies after a bat bite.

  6. Posted November 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    The bat will be in the studio at 7:00, Kristin. The conversation about the deer cull will be at 6:00. If you’d like to join us for either one part or both, I’d be happy to have you. Just let me know so I can bring an extra chair or two (in case the grizzled hunter comes with you).

  7. Posted November 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I thought you were advocating bat extermination, Erika. I’m glad to see that’s not the case.

    And one day I need to to come on the radio show and talk about all of the awful things that have happened to you since leaving Ypsi. It’s a great cautionary tale that people should be aware of.

    And here’s a link to that Radio Lab segment about the girl who survived rabies.

  8. Posted November 14, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    [I just talked with Kristen and she won’t be coming on the show. Apparently she has tickets for something in Ann Arbor called the Cat Circus.]

  9. kjc
    Posted December 16, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink


  10. Peter Larson
    Posted December 17, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Some of the comments are entertaining:

    “I will never think of Ann Arbor the same way again. Breaks my heart to think of these deer suffering through the experience of being shot. Breaks my heart to think I live among so many heartless people.”

    I’m not sure this person understand how deer die in a normal situation.

    Oh wait, that is my white privilege talking.

  11. Eel
    Posted December 17, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I’d love to talk with the most serious “deer lives matter” people and ask them to rank their priorities. I think the results would be fascinating.

  12. Jcp2
    Posted December 17, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Lack of awareness of the natural death of prey animals is actually a bit of class privilege. Meat doesn’t generally come in plastic wrapped styrofoam trays.

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