Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bow Hunters Anxious to Kill Urban Deer Due to Decline on Vancouver Island

From a comment made by a bow hunter on this blog on February 20 2011:

"My fellow hunters and I are hard pressed to find any deer in the wilderness of VI mostly due to the decline of forestry and natural predator competition. It's disheartening to drive past 12 deer from Brentwood through Langford and Metchosin (areas where I hunted years ago) to get to a wild area and hunt for 2 days and see only 2 deer. No deer harvested. As a bow hunter I can help stop the crop damage by our local farm deer."

Admitting that deer populations have declined on Vancouver Island, and with the inclusion of Richard Christiansen, Vancouver Island region representative of the United Bow Hunters of BC to the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Deer Management in the CRD, this frustrated group will most certainly have their way.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

CRD Names 11-person Advisory Group

An 11-person citizens committee has been selected to look at one of the most controversial issues facing the region this year.
The deer management citizens advisory group was appointed Wednesday by the Capital Regional District.
Five members are from the core municipalities, four are from Peninsula municipalities and two are from the West Shore. Commercial farmers and First Nations are represented.
The committee will review the issue of deer in the region and advise the CRD on recommended options to deal with them. Options could range from maintaining the status quo to recommending a cull.
The number of deer has increased in the region, causing concern among some people, while others say the deer are a natural part of the environment. Several farmers say their livelihoods and food security are threatened by deer, which can destroy crops in an afternoon, while some urban residents complain about their gardens being gobbled by deer.
The issue is so fraught with emotion, controversy and divergent opinions that the CRD decided the best way to gather input was through a citizens committee.
So many qualified people applied to be on the committee that the CRD considered making it bigger, said Geoff Young, chairman of the CRD. However, because a committee can become too unwieldy, the CRD kept at the agreed-upon 11-person group, he said.
“It was really tough cutting to the number we had decided on,” Young said.
Applicants outlined their expertise and qualifications in the application, experience in decision-making — whether at a government or community level — and experience working with groups. Several also have technical and scientific experience.
“We really tried to get a committee made up of people with a wide range of views,” Young said. “We are very well aware there is a broad range of views among the public on this topic, and we wished to have that reflected on the committee.”
The committee will have its first meeting in May. No specific date has yet been scheduled. Meetings will be open to the public. The committee will report and make recommendations to the CRD by the end of July.
The committee members are: Richard Christiansen, Wendy Fox, Lisa Kadonaga, Sol Kinnis, Terry Michell, Robert Moody, Patrick O’Rourke, Jocelyn Skrlac, Philip Tom, Kerri Ward and Robin Bassett. A chairperson for the group will be selected at its first meeting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Cranbrook approves further 50 deer cull

Posted by: Ian Cobb    Tags:  , , , , , ,     Posted date:  April 23, 2012  |  No comment


The City of Cranbrook is going to conduct another cull of urban deer in the upcoming year, upping the number to 50 animals.
City council April 23 agreed to a recommendation made by the Urban Deer Management Advisory Committee (UDMAC) to stage another clover trap cull, citing an increase in deer in the city despite the 20 animals killed in the fall of 2011.
Prior to getting provincial government approval to conduct the first urban deer cull in the province, a count of mule and white-tail deer in the city in 2010 showed 111 animals.
The UDMAC and city volunteers conducted another count March 31, within the city, covering nine zones. This time 121 were counted in the nine zones, between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Of that number, 74 were mule deer and 47 white-tail. In 2010, only 10 of the 111 deer counted were white-tail. Additionally, 11 elk were counted inside city limits on March 31.
Data from the count was compiled by Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources wildlife biologist Irene Teske.
“The committee notes that the population numbers overall are still low in the City of Cranbrook, compared to other communities experiencing their own issues with urban deer. The committee also indicated that they believe the population counts, both in 2010 and 2012 are not capturing the total number of deer within the municipal boundary,” states the UDMAC report/recommendation.
Council voted five to two to agree to the committee recommendation, with Mayor Wayne Stetski and Coun. Sharon Cross voting against it.
Stetski said he would have liked “or translocation” to be included in the motion to cull 50 deer, with some consideration of transplanting animals as opposed to killing them.
UDMAC committee member Coun. Bob Whetham said relocation of deer is “the most socially acceptable” means of dealing with urban deer problems but is also “the most expensive and most cruel way to cull.”
His own research, including discussions with wildlife biologists and from attending an urban wildlife conference, show that a deer’s nervous system is impacted from translocation, to the point that it loses its flight response and they easily fall prey to predators.
Additionally, he said, urban deer will “go back to what they are familiar with” and either head back to the city or migrate to the nearest community. He also noted that the city had not heard from any groups or wildlife agencies on taking on a relocation pilot program.
Whetham said the committee considered the growing public opposition to urban deer culls.
Cranbrook, the first out of the block, received almost no opposition to its cull. Up next to use the 10 clover traps provided by the provincial government, was the City of Kimberley and its 100 animal cull, which began to receive opposition from the Humane Treatment of Urban Wildlife Committee. The city met its target mark.
That same committee addressed District of Invermere council just prior to it launching the third East Kootenay municipal cull, also with a permit for 100 deer. Adding to and then drowning out the Humane Treatment of Urban Wildlife Committee was an Invermere-based group, the Invermere Deer Protection Agency, that took the district to court, gaining a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to briefly delay the cull.
When the district undertook its two-week cull Feb. 24, only 19 animals were killed. The court matter remains unresolved.
“Invermere had a particularly difficult time,” Whetham said, adding the city should meet with officials from Kimberley and Invermere to see if there are better ways to proceed. He added that a couple of the traps may have to be repaired after being vandalized during the Invermere cull.
Agreeing with the second Cranbrook cull were councilors Whetham, Angus Davis, Denise Pallesen, Diana J Scott and Gerry Warner.
“Translocation is actually more cruel, in the end,” Scott noted, adding she agreed with speaking to Kimberley and Invermere officials. The public also needs to be as well-informed as possible, she cautioned.
Urban deer are not just a problem in the region, Scott told council, explaining that after attending the recent Union of Kootenay-Boundary Local Government annual general meeting in Trail, “municipalities are getting more frustrated each year.” She mentioned a recent incident in Princeton where a 20-year-old man was “stomped” by a deer. “If it can happen to an adult, it can happen to a child,” she said.
Davis said he supports the cull because “these deer do damage to property.” People spend a great amount of time and money to keep their yards beautiful and the deer are a problem to them, he said, adding there is also the safety aspect.
“We’re doing the right thing,” he said.
The city is budgeting $15,000 for the proposed cull, though it could cost more “depending on number of deer to be culled, contractor rate, costs to process meat and approved cull methodology,” noted the UDMAC report to council.
Mayor Stetski pointed out that the 2011 cull cost $519 per deer taken and questioned how the city could conduct a larger cull for only $15,000
“We may have to re-visit that,” admitted Whetham.
Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Applications for Regional Deer Management Citizens Advisory Group are now closed

Deer Management


Applications for Regional Deer Management Citizens Advisory Group are now closed
Thank you to all who volunteered for the Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) to prepare and recommend a management strategy and action plan to address deer-human conflicts in the region. The CAG will include members from Greater Victoria, including the Peninsula and West Shore, as well as from the commercial farming sector. Their recommendations will be brought to the Board through the Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee (PTPSC).
Group members will be recommended by the PTPSC on April 4, and appointed by the Board on April 11. Successful applicants will be notified.
Interested parties can continue sending questions or feedback by Email email, or ask to be added to our contact list to receive ongoing updates on the process.