Monday’s Province newspaper features a story covering a collision between a cyclist and a deer. Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen expects their community deer kill plan to work in deterring other deer from entering Oak Bay. One simply needs to ask if the deer even realize there’s a danger? How can others possibly know when one is trapped and killed with a bolt gun? It’s foolish and short-sighted. Killing deer and other steps like hazing and contraception will ultimately fail to reduce numbers. Deer will simply move to other areas, returning when ‘safe’.
Many people are excited and enjoy seeing deer, and this should be considered by decision-makers as well. But if we’re collectively unwilling to adapt our lives to living with deer, then we need to take steps in eliminating what attracts them: the veritable buffet we’re offering with careless growing of plants and easily accessed gardens – it’s literally candy for deer. Nearly all wildlife ‘issues’ are due to humans providing food. It’s no different from bears to skunks to deer. So long as we’re giving them something to fill their bellies, more will always return. As we eliminate food sources, deer numbers will reduce.
Please take a minute to write the Honourable Stephen Thomson, Forestry Minister, who has the final say on deer kills in BC, and let him know that killing deer in Oak Bay (and elsewhere) is an unacceptable option for you. Instead of managing deer we need to act responsibly and manage our own behaviours. And if having deer in your neighbourhood is something special, be sure to highlight this fact: no doubt they get complaints, but let’s send compliments as well.
Thank-you for speaking up for deer, here is Minister Stephen Thomson’s contact info:
Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
P.O Box 9049
Stn. Prov Govt
Telephone: 250 387-6240
Fax: 250 387-1040