A whitetail buck shows little fear of humans in Okanagan Falls.

Province to fund urban deer projects

Communities seek ways to neuter, chase away or kill aggressive, unhealthy deer to protect people and crops

The B.C. government has committed up to $100,000 a year to share costs of “urban deer management operations,” with an advisory committee to guide communities in reducing the risks and damage caused by deer.

The province is responsible for wildlife management, but the government wants solutions to be developed locally. Some communities have resorted to killing deer, with mixed success and sometimes intense local opposition, while others suggest birth control, relocation or “hazing” of deer using dogs to keep them away from communities.

A B.C. government fact sheet advises that if deer are to be killed, they should caught in traps that look like oversized hockey nets, then shot with a bolt gun at close range. Provincial staff can lend available equipment and issue permits to manage deer populations in or near urban areas, or develop hunting regulations for local situations.

Using dogs to chase deer is illegal under wildlife protection legislation, but a permit was issued to Kimberley to do a controlled trial in 2013. City council declared the trial a success, at a cost of $300 or more a day to deploy trained dogs and handlers.

Invermere council found itself embroiled in legal action brought by a group of opponents, despite a local survey that found more than 70 per cent public support for a deer cull. Invermere officials were dealing with complaints of aggressive deer, deer eating garbage and  appearing unhealthy, cougars encroaching on the community to prey on urban deer and deer deaths that appeared to be from unlawful action.

After multiple resolutions brought to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in recent years, the province responded this week with the offer of funding and continued research. Municipalities must obtain permits from the forests ministry before attempting relocation, hazing, contraceptive measures that require handling of deer, or culls.

The advisory committee, not yet named, is to continue developing standardized methods, such as how to safely process and distribute meat from deer that are killed. In rural Central Saanich, permits have been issued to use shotguns or bows against deer to protect crops.

Another task for the committee will be to develop public consultation on methods of deer control, to head off protests, legal challenges and vigilante action.

Just Posted

Okanagan College launches Indigenous cooking training

The program will infuse Indigenous-knowledge in its professional cook training

Okanagan Shuswap weather: Hold on to your toque, wind and snow today

The sun will be hiding behind the clouds for the next few days

Creekside Theatre offers unique experience for cinephiles

The Lake Country theatre shows movies and documentaries twice a month

It’s time to prune berry bushes to help wildlife in Okanagan

Pruning will help keep wildlife away and be easier to pick when the berries are ripe

Okanagan FC ready to reestablish soccer culture in Kelowna

The new team’s coach wants to build a speical team in Kelowna

Branching out: learning to ski at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

It’s the first time at the hill for the editor of Revelstoke Review

Okanagan College to launch Indigenous-knowledge infused professional cook training

Okanagan College is turning to Indigenous knowledge keepers, chefs and foragers to… Continue reading

Okanagan ‘pot-caster’ talks politics and weed sales

Pot podcaster Daniel Eastman says B.C. has kind of dropped the ball as far as legalization

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Shuswap plastic bag ban expected to begin July 1

Salmon Arm bylaw would impact approximately 175 retail stores and 50 food outlets/restaurants

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

Most Read