Several farmers in Saancih are working to implement more relaxed hunting by-laws in Saanich, Central Saanich and North Saanich. They want the deer that wander onto their properties destroyed – or as one farmer said in a recent Global interview – “we gotta get something working this year in order to take the animals down.” Among the expectations of these farmers who refuse to fence is an arsenal that includes bowhunting, sharpshooting, establishing a bounty on deer and clover trap/bolt gun killing.
These few vocal farmers have portrayed themselves in the media as necessary to life on Vancouver Island. They have not attempted due diligence with their own businesses by fencing their crops. They continue to ignore the CRD taxpayers who do not want their tax dollars spent on a mass slaughter of deer.
During one of the 2012 Citizen's Advisory Group meetings one farmer suggested that “food security” was vitally important if the island was ever cut off from the mainland. It was not mentioned if the airport was destroyed in this make-believe scenario, or if ships were unable to land here. Of this I am sure - these small farms will not stand between the Capital Regional District's 350,000 residents and certain starvation in the event of a Hollywood-esque catastophe.
How many deer do the farmers want to kill in Saancih to protect the crops that they have steadfastly refused to fence? They don't know – they don't even know how many deer there are.
A cultural carrying capacity is the maximum number of individuals of a species that the human population will tolerate. This tolerance will vary from community to community. What will satisfy these few farmers? Do they want the deer to disappear from their sight entirely? How will that affect the biological carrying capacity of deer on the surrounding properties?
Taxpayers of the CRD are not being provided with answers. Research was requested by two Citizen's Advisory Group members in the spring of 2012. After weeks of non-commital responses from CRD staff, ridicule and eye-rolling from the facilitator (brought in from Vancouver) and other CAG members, they quit the committee siting “an irretrievably flawed process.”
How many deer are going to die in Saanich? The cull proponents don't know.