Sunday, June 30, 2013

Iain Hunter: Executing Deer Not Dignified Behaviour

Iain Hunter / Times Colonist
June 30, 2013

All species react to danger because they must. Man reacts to inconveniences because he may.
Dandelion reminded me of that. She was a dark-eyed young doe on the path to the vegetable garden, and when I advanced, she stood her ground, which I’d thought was my ground, and flicked one ear. Nothing else.
She seemed to be waiting for me to say something, so I did:
“Welcome to my garden, sweetie. But you’re really not wanted here. As your name implies, you’re an invasive species, and I say this in the kindest possible way, but you should go now.”
She nodded — I swear she did — and took one dainty step back. The setting sun behind traced the veins in her ears, her delicate nostrils flared and we stood together, becalmed, beholding.
This encounter, I’m ashamed to say, has not been usual this spring. Marauding deer in twos and threes and fours have skipped down the driveway, hopped over futile fences and leaped over the rockery with gay abandon.
They’ve chomped the tree peonies, ravaged the roses, nipped off the flowers of the Iberian cranesbill as soon as they appeared, and even nibbled at the new blackberry shoots.
When I’ve caught them, I’ve rushed at them waving my arms and howling like a gorilla in heat and blowing a deafening device that I understand has been banned at organized sporting events.
It was my neighbour, Larry, who after watching these territorial displays, observed that the deer, albeit in retreat, showed more dignity than did I in driving them off.
If any being is concerned with dignity, it should be the human kind, shouldn’t it — nature’s apex predator, a being holding dominion over all others with biblical sanction?
Some in my community have chosen more dignified techniques to drive deer away, such as movement-activated sprinklers and chemical repellants.
But individual efforts are not good enough, apparently.
Deer are considered, even by those who deliberately grow what they like most to eat, a municipal and regional problem.
And, of course, when public money is called for, cheapest is best. Culls have been approved elsewhere and are now under consideration by the mayor and corporation of Oak Bay, where Dandelion roams unaware of proposals to trap and cage her overnight and put a bolt through her head at sunup.
Would that collective, officially approved solution be any more dignified than my making a dervish-like spectacle of myself in trying to drive off my plants’ predators?
How would this crude execution bestow dignity — in the sense of worth or honour — on those on whose behalf it would be carried out?
In times of crisis, as this seems to be, there isn’t time to consider how collective decisions reflect on those making them or those on behalf of whom they’re made.
Human beings are as expert at getting rid of nuisances as they are at creating them — souls need not be engaged.
I wonder if Dandelion knows that. I wonder if she thinks, like Holly in Watership Down, that “men will never rest ’til they’ve spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals.”
I’ve done my best to talk to that doe as a member of one invasive species to a member of another. I want her to know that I want to get on with her as best I can.
I haven’t chased her away anymore. I’ve tried to encourage her to eat plants that matter to me less than others, or to stick to those that will survive her browsing. She hasn’t seemed to get it.
I haven’t seen Dandelion lately. I miss her gazing from the bottom of the garden as if sizing up the bush for a birthing place. I hoped she’d stay.
There’s a lot of rubbish talked about the danger posed by deer. Carcasses by the roadside show where real danger lies.
“Animals don’t behave like men,” says a Watership Down rabbit. “If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don’t sit down and set their wits to devise ways of spoiling other creatures’ lives and hurting them.
“They have dignity and animality.”
© Copyright 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Oak Bay councillors vote to pursue deer cull

Katherine Dedyna / Times Colonist
June 25, 2013
The deer population has exploded in Oak Bay.  Photograph by: LYLE STAFFORD, Times Colonist 

Oak Bay council has voted unanimously in favour of reducing its burgeoning deer population by culling and expects to work with the Capital Regional District to do so.

But “there are multiple steps that have to be completed before we actually see a cull,” Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen said Tuesday. First, the CRD must come up with a plan that Oak Bay approves, then the province must approve the joint proposal. “We’re told it might take some time for the province to approve the plan — as much as six to 12 months,” Jensen said.

The way deer in Oak Bay are currently “culled by car” is not a humane solution to dealing with over-population, Jensen said. “Five years ago, Oak Bay Public Works received no calls to remove any deer carcasses; last year, they had 23 occasions when they had to remove a carcass in Oak Bay. And so far this year, we’re on target for the same number.”

The CRD plan would consider how many deer to cull, the method of culling and where it would be done. Oak Bay is looking for advice from the CRD, along with what to do with the meat.

Oak Bay also passed a motion asking the CRD to explore a request by the Ahousaht First Nation to partner with them to move deer to their traditional territories on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Jensen surmised that “tranquillizing and moving the deer is not something that is likely to be approved by the province.”

The CRD has a budget of $150,000 for two deer-control pilot projects — one urban and one rural — that would implement measures over the course of a year. A CRD standing committee is expected to consider deer-related comments from all municipalities by the end of July, then produce its plan.

The CRD could get back to Oak Bay in August, said Margaret Miske-Evans, CRD acting general manager of planning, transportation and protective services.

Miske-Evans said the CRD deer strategy is not triggered only by complaints from worried urbanites — the biggest issue is the loss to agricultural producers. “Clearly, it’s impinging on everyone.”

The Victoria public works department is called to deal with only four or five deer carcasses per year, with “no notable changes over the past few years,” said city spokeswoman Katie Josephson. But the Saanich Pound responded to 461 calls regarding deer last year, 39 of which involved animals that needed to be put down. “The rest of the deer were either already dead, injured, problematic and needed assessment, or reported as injured but gone on arrival,” said inspector Susan Ryan in an email.

Oak Bay parents have told council of concerns that deer feces prevent children from playing in their own yards. One grandparent feared a frantic deer that leaped into his yard while pursued by dogs could have injured a grandchild.

Most of the deer that die in Oak Bay are hit by cars; others have drowned in ponds or pools or died after being caught in fencing, Jensen noted. “That is not a solution and that will continue until we find another way to deal with the deer.”

Jensen said communities such as Cranbrook and Kimberley have treated unwanted deer much like cattle, sheep or pigs, using bolt guns to kill them.

DeerSafeVictoria was formed in January 2012 to oppose a cull as “cruel and inefficient,” according to its website. It accuses the CRD of “acting to meet the interests of private property owners and special-interest groups who see the deer as a nuisance.” Its website says deer are lured to a baited trap and held overnight until workers come in the morning to kill them with a bolt gun to the head.
© Copyright 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA pushing for changes to allow deer hazing

Published: June 19, 2013 8:25 AM
Updated: June 19, 2013 8:25 AM
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald is asking the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for quick changes to the Wildlife Act after the recent deer hazing trial in Kimberley.
He will be meeting with Minister Steve Thomson later this month and at that time will ask him to make the necessary moves that will allow hazing to be used as a tool in deer management.
Macdonald says it was a positive sign that a temporary hazing permit was allowed in Kimberley, and he hopes the Ministry will move on it.
"The Ministry position on hazing has always been that it needs a change in legislation. I'm saying it should be done," Macdonald said. "It's one more tool for managing urban deer and I know the local government in Kimberley wants to have that option."
Macdonald says that parts of the Wildlife Act are simply archaic, in that you can get a permit to cull deer but not to haze them.
"I think the part around dogs was originally intended to make sure people handled their dogs around deer, that pets didn't chase wildlife, but that means hazing is not allowed.
"But now many well-informed people feel hazing under the right conditions is an appropriate tool for deer management.
"Deer are a provincial responsibility so the province needs to make the legislation changes that will allow local governments to use hazing as a tool. And they need to put resources behind it as well. Urban deer problems are not an issue unique to our part of the province. We need to become more sophisticated in our management.
"I  support local municipal councils in their request of government to make this legislative change.  And I've indicated to the communities of Invermere, Kimberley and Cranbrook that I will use my position as Opposition critic for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to push the minister on this issue."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Oak Bay is Asked to Consider This

Please check the DeerSafe website for more information:
Home page - How "Trap and Kill" Comes to a Community

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Life With Deer in BC

Urban wildlife: Many in B.C. find animals in the backyard a curse

By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun June 8, 2013 8:20 AM

Urban wildlife: Many in B.C. find animals in the backyard a curse

Deer and other wildlife have adapted to living in cities and urban areas, such as this deer photographed in south Surrey.

Photograph by: Les Bazso , PNG

I rose one recent morning, poured a coffee, stepped onto the back deck to admire the fog drifting off the sea and found myself in the company of a blacktail doe and two slightly shaggy yearlings just beginning to shed their winter coats.
Wild deer in the backyard and on the boulevards — a spotted fawn no bigger than a lamb bounded across the road in front of my car just yesterday — are an increasingly common sight, even in British Columbia’s most urbane gardens.
It’s not just Bambi who’s moved into the neighbourhood, either. Deer moving uptown have brought some unexpected baggage. Their chief predator, the usually shy and reclusive cougar, has followed its food source, bringing a real hazard to public safety.
Just this week a cougar was shot by conservation officers in Coquitlam. It signed its own death warrant when it menaced a woman, lunging at her while she sat behind a window.
The general — and justifiable — standard is that when a top-of-the-food-chain predator shows no fear of humans, it has to be killed before it starts preying on us (and in this case, an elementary school was near).
In Nanaimo, there were three cougar sightings early this week, although no aggressive, threatening or predatory behaviour was reported. The week before that there were three cougar sightings in Trail, and they came on the heels of three juvenile cougars that had to be shot in residential Castlegar.
Nobody should panic, of course, as attacks on humans by cougars are extremely rare — there are far more fatalities from bee stings each year. But it is a reminder that increasingly, suburban joggers and walkers would be wise to refresh their backcountry hiking expertise.
If you encounter a big cat, make yourself as big as you can. Spread your jacket, open an umbrella, pick up children, stomp your feet and talk loudly. Sound and look menacing — you want the animal to decide you’re a threat, not prey. Don’t turn your back. Never run.
Experienced wilderness hikers carry a stout walking stick and if a cougar behaves aggressively, they are prepared to fight back.
B.C. isn’t the only place that’s coping with the wonders and headaches of urban wildlife, although we still have more undeveloped wilderness than most places.
The migration of wildlife from backcountry to downtown is a continental phenomenon, one of the fascinating developments of the 21st century.
Scientists call it “synurbization.” It refers to a growing recognition that cities themselves represent a new evolutionary trend, what one researcher has described as an explosion of new and strange types of artificial environments in the natural landscape to which wildlife adapted over millions of years.
Yet if this process reconfigures ancient natural habitats, it also creates a portfolio of new ecological niches that wild animals may colonize.
Nicholas Read, a former Vancouver Sun reporter who now teaches journalism at Langara College, has written a fascinating and popular book about it, City Critters: Wildlife in the Urban Jungle.
“They’ve moved into places we used to think of as belonging to people and no one else. The strange thing is that for a long time they did it without anyone noticing,” Read observes. “Now we can’t help noticing them because they are everywhere.”
Not that we should be surprised. Human relocation from undeveloped hinterlands to our manufactured landscape occurred first and is one of the most rapid and extensive migrations in history. A century ago, more than 80 per cent of us lived rural lives, intruders into the habitats of wild creatures. Now, fewer than 15 per cent of British Columbians are rural inhabitants and it’s the wild that intrudes into the domesticated spaces most of us inhabit.
I still find the presence of urban wildlife a pleasant surprise, but many fellow citizens see deer, raccoons, squirrels, Canada geese, crows, coyotes, cougars, black bears or bobcats as more curse than miracle and in some cases — far fewer instances than popular perception suggests, however — they have cause.
Not so dear
Deer have become a problem for drivers, for example. In the provincial capital, where the regional district is grappling with urban deer management, the number of collisions between deer and motor vehicles tripled between 1991 and 2005. In Metro Vancouver, it doubled over the same period.
The estimated cost of dealing with deer killed by vehicles on city roads is about $100 per accident. That means that in Greater Victoria they claimed more than $268,000 scarce tax dollars between 2001 and 2010. Provincewide, ICBC reports animal-related accident claims of almost $278 million between 1997 and 2007, although this total includes high-speed highway collisions outside urban areas, too.
And, as Nanaimo discovered last week when a car killed a mother bear and left two orphaned cubs, it can be tragic for the animals as well.
But most urban complaints about deer are cosmetic and revolve around their browsing upon the ornamental flowers, shrubs, fruit trees and vegetables adorning city gardens. The complaints are usually accompanied by the claim that there’s a vast over-population of deer.
Yet B.C. wildlife inventories show that while more deer are being seen within city limits, blacktail deer populations on Vancouver Island are actually in a steep decline — in large part because of us.
Logging and residential sprawl disrupted the ecosystems that sustained Island deer. The blacktail herd collapsed from almost 300,000 deer before 1968 to about 55,000 today. In the same period, the human population grew by 50 per cent to about 750,000.
In other words, for every two additional humans who moved to the Island, about four blacktail deer were lost.
These declines were predicted by wildlife biologists as the backcountry food supply was disrupted. First, there was a sudden increase in forage as old growth forests were logged, opening the understory to more sunlight. Then there was a sudden decrease in forage as fast-growing new forests matured. Logging subsequently moved into winter browsing areas. Urban development encroached upon the forest edge. Deer weren’t part of the economic equation. During one bitter winter, about 100,000 perished.
Faced with dwindling food supplies, deer migrated from where forage was scarce to where it was more plentiful. The concentration of shrinking numbers in a smaller, more contested space has created the illusion that deer populations are exploding when the opposite has been true.
Newspapers’ editorial pages are rife these days with letters complaining about stripped gardens, deer menacing the public and so on, usually accompanied by demands that they be relocated, that urban hunting regulations be relaxed or that professional slaughters with venison sales be permitted.
Municipal governments respond to public demands. Cranbrook, for example, presses ahead with a kill program; Nanaimo is watching closely; so is Penticton; and a district-wide cull is one option being examined by Victoria’s Capital Regional District.
Not everyone agrees, though. Invermere suspended its deer cull after being sued by a local deer protection society. And other jurisdictions report that culls are only temporarily effective because other animals will migrate to fill the vacant niche. Thus, “controlling” the urban population further depletes the declining wild herd.
Threat sometimes exaggerated
Misperceptions and their consequences don’t just apply to ungulates.
Coyotes, for example, are seen as a growing threat to domestic pets and children. Alarms have been raised recently in Metro, Toronto, Detroit, Boston, Ottawa and elsewhere. There are thought to be up to 3,000 coyotes scattered amid the 145,000 dogs and 2.3 million humans inhabiting Metro.
Examine the statistical evidence and scientific research and the threat seems minuscule.
One detailed study of urban coyote scat in Calgary, for example, discovered that less than two per cent showed any evidence of a coyote having killed and eaten dogs or cats. Almost 80 per cent of scat was comprised of other small mammals, so coyotes may actually help control mice and rats — the other urban wildlife that’s seldom mentioned.
Rats are estimated to cause up to $1 billion in damage to North American homes each year. Damage includes electrical wiring, insulation, roofing, gardens and ruined food — a single rat can consume 50 kilograms of food over its lifespan, but will easily ruin 500 kilograms in the process. Thus, 100 rats in the wrong place might render 50,000 kilograms of food unfit for human consumption.
Canada geese can be a problem because their massed droppings can elevate fecal coliform counts in public parks, on beaches and in waters where the public likes to swim. They’ve been described as a “menace” in the media, even threatening airlines.
There’s truth to this. The Canada goose population has grown to more than five million birds since 1970, with most of the growth among resident populations that like to flock near airports — which are often in low-lying areas, frequently near waterways that attract waterfowl.
Between 1990 and 2005, according to one aviation study, Canada geese were involved in 1,279 collisions with aircraft, some resulting in serious damage. But another major study of more than 16,000 civil and military aircraft accidents recently discovered that roughly 12,000 were caused by human error related to skills and judgment.
Metro Vancouver’s raccoons have been reported behaving aggressively toward humans. But in reality, the risk of being attacked by a “psycho” raccoon, as one tabloid dubbed such an incident, pales by comparison to the risk of being attacked by a fellow human.
There were half a dozen reported raccoon incidents last year, for example. But in 2011, 87 British Columbians were murdered, 36,716 were assaulted and there were 66,784 violent criminal offences reported.
City dwellers are about 13,000 times more likely to be attacked by a fellow citizen than by a wild animal. And if Canadian Safety Council estimates are accurate, you are 90,000 times more likely to be bitten by somebody’s dog, including your own, than by a raccoon or a coyote.
Nevertheless, civic governments are increasingly asked to deal with the uncanny ability of wild animals to adapt and prosper in the built landscapes that humans once considered the exclusive preserve of themselves and their domesticated pets.
And this raises serious ethical questions, not merely for civic authorities, but also for those who want to be rid of creatures that inconveniently migrate to urban areas because their habitats elsewhere are being degraded, defiled, disrupted or diminished by human activity.
The great divide
At one end of the spectrum are vehement animal rights advocates who argue the problem is entirely ours, not the animals.’ At the other, an exasperated fringe that argues: “Just shoot the damn things.”
Somewhere in the middle reside most of us, concerned about safety and reducing damage but not entirely displeased at this small intrusion of wild nature into our engineered environment.
As I looked on, the blacktail family browsed contentedly on the back lawn just below the tree house we built in a Pacific maple for our daughter 15 years ago. The tree has since begun to dismantle the structure again now that she’s about to graduate from university, a reminder of nature’s resilience.
Not that the tree house fell into complete disuse. I climbed up to do some minor repairs a few years ago and discovered a mother raccoon had moved in temporarily and was using it as a nursery — cute little kits they were, too — although for some reason it’s been spurned by the red squirrels that occasionally use its roof as a landing pad.
Just this winter my daughter reported that a raccoon still too young to be afraid of humans had padded up onto the sliding glass door to the deck outside her quarters, pressed its paws and nose to the glass and examined her at length while she was studying.
Kind of like me, examining the deer on the back lawn.
The two yearlings looked up in alarm. Mom just gave me a slow once-over and then went back to brunch. We’ve come to know each other quite well, the doe and I.
Last year, those yearlings were a couple of tiny spotted fawns. They would burst onto the lawn and gambol like the proverbial spring lambs, jumping and mock-butting while mother kept a careful eye on the humans on the deck.
By my count, this is the 17th generation of fawns to find safety in our back garden — and the gardens of equally sanguine neighbours up the street and down — but their presence hasn’t come without some adjustments all around.
It’s not just the lawn upon which the deer dine. They so liked the Japanese holly in the rock garden that I transplanted to a pot on the deck, which has since morphed into a kind of rescue garden. They’re especially partial to geraniums and love their petunias, too. Day lilies, dahlias, pansies and impatiens have all now migrated to safety in pots.
The deer turn up their noses at nicotiana, though, so it’s in the front border. They don’t like marigolds and shun poppies of all varieties, Welsh, California and Oriental alike, but I like the bright colours so there are lots of them. Deer detest alyssum, too.
But they love roses, so the heritage climbers have moved to a fenced area. Oregon grape, salal, cotoneaster, potentilla, kinnikinnick, lavender and bamboo they dislike, so these provide grace notes elsewhere.
One never knows, though. My neighbours warned that deer would devour the azaleas. They never touch mine. Or the grape vines.
The sumac that’s taken root in an old stump they shun but there’s now an eight-foot mesh fence around the apple trees and the planter boxes for garden vegetables. I’m told deer can leap a fence like that but the ones who visit my garden never have shown an inclination.
So we’ve arrived at a quid pro quo. If they’ve adapted to us, we’re adapting to them.
We garden outside the fences with plants they don’t like and inside with plants they do. They’re welcome to eat in their part of the garden. Plants for which we both share an affinity either go into protected areas or we forego them.
As I say, however, some of my fellow citizens, having blissfully mowed down the deer’s habitat to pay for their hospitals and shopping malls, are now angry over the displaced deer moving in to lunch on their gardens.
Deer have been evolving in North American landscapes for millions of years. The vast human changes imposed upon it that Metro represents have occurred over the last 100 years or less.
Maybe, as Nicholas Read so eloquently argues, we should all be a little more patient in figuring out how to live together with our fellow creatures.
“The lives and futures of urban wildlife, resilient though they appear, are firmly (or perhaps precariously) in our hands,” Read observes. “As we go, so do they. We can either hold on to them for dear life as some of the last precious vestiges of wildlife on this rapidly shrinking and overcrowded planet, or we can selfishly and carelessly let them go. The choice is ours.”

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The CRD's Regional Deer Management Strategy moves on Oak Bay



Responses have been requested by the Capital Regional District on the following ten requests which are to be considered by Council at the Meeting:

  1. Support region pursuing fencing subsidies from senior governments for agricultural operations
  1. Work with region on public education regarding use of repellent
  1. Provide input on dealing with aggressive deer
  1. Support region pursuing changes to public hunting regulations
  1. Support region’s efforts to enhance First Nation’s harvest
  1. Advise whether the District wishes to pursue capture and euthanize approach to population reduction
  1. Review road signage, speed limits and consider refinements
  1. Partner with CRD to expand public education
  1. Track deer related complaints and circumstances where the District is contacted
  1. Formalize participation via membership on a Regional Deer Management Strategy oversight committee

Monday, June 3, 2013

More on Kimberley's aversive conditioning trial

Trial deer hazing in Kimberley Wednesday morning

While most people in Marysville were still in bed, or enjoying their morning coffee, two border collies — Bob and Tess — were moving deer. There was no fuss, no muss, no stampede — just a group of deer moving out of town under the guidance of two very well trained dogs.
Kimberley’s one-time only trial with aversive conditioning of urban deer took place on Wednesday morning, May 29, 2013.
It was kept purposely low-key, with only a few deer committee members, the provincial government biologist Irene Teske, and Coun. Darryl Oakley along to watch as John Zehnder and Margie Jamieson let their dogs do their thing.
“It went well,” Zehnder said. “We did a group of deer at Bootleg Gap and then up towards the transfer station. I think the people watching learned a lot and got a good understanding of how it works.”
This was a trial only, allowed under special permission from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.
The deer removed today will return to town. A full aversive conditioning program will require repetition of today’s events until the deer understand they will not be bothered out of town.
“We condition the deer to know that town is not a good place to be,” Jamieson said. “Out of town is the safe zone and the pressure is off.”
“The deer see the town as a shelter from predators and as a food source,” Zehnder. “They feel comfortable here.”
“In a sense what you do with the dogs is introduce a predator to their safety zone,” Jamieson said.
Both stress that this is a non-traumatic way to move deer.
“The deer move from the dogs, but they are allowed the freedom to move in the right direction,” Jamieson said.
“We are taking advantage of a natural instinct,” Zehnder said.
“These deer saw the dogs, their ears went up and they were ready to move.”
The dogs are off leash, but Zehnder says they are on a ‘verbal leash’.
“They have total recall. You can call them off at any point. They will stop on a dime.”
“We can direct their movement right or left,” Jamieson said. “What was evident today was not control over the deer but control over the direction the deer go. It works like a funnel with the dogs working the flanks, keeping the deer directed. For the deer, the right direction is the easiest option.”
“We want them to feel as if they are being hunted,” Zehnder said. “That’s why the dogs are off lease. We can put as much pressure on them as required by the situation.”
Both Zehnder and Jamieson have previous experience with hazing, or aversive conditioning. They have worked in national park areas such as Banff and Waterton. They acknowledge that what is being done in Kimberley is the first of its kind.
“It’s never been done outside of a national park before,” Jamieson said.
“It’s never been done in a municipality,” Zehnder said. “This is a first. It’s a pretty significant trial.”
However, both say aversive conditioning, no matter how successful, will only work in certain parts of town, and must be part of a multi-pronged approach to problems with urban deer.
“We’ve seen it work, but it’s one prong,” Jamieson said. “There is also education, fencing, non-feeding.”
“And there is culling,” Zehnder said. “I like to promote a more selective cull.”
Jamieson agrees. “Instead of a massive cull, you target the problem deer. If you kill 100 deer and don’t get the four aggressive ones, you haven’t solved your problem.”
Both say that for a trial run, Marsyville is an ideal set up with crown land on the edges rather than acreages and farms.
“We really do want to acknowledge Gary Glinz and Sherry Shrieves from the Deer Committee and Darryl Oakley. They really worked hard for this. They didn’t just get permission for a trial, they are looking to change legislation.”
“It’s very progressive thinking,” Zehnder said.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Deer hazing trial a success: What next?

CAROLYN GRANT/Daily Bulletin
The City of Kimberley and the Urban Deer Committee believe that they have successfully demonstrated that  using dogs to haze deer and train them to stay out of town is a viable tool in an urban deer management plan. The question is, what happens now?
That's up to the provincial government, says Mayor Ron McRae.
"I think we've demonstrated that it has good possibilities," he said. "Obviously, it is yet to be seen whether the government will act. But the fact that they did grant the demo — that gives some indication that they may look at shifting some legislation to allow for other possibilities. I just don't think people will tolerate the use of a cull as a deer management tool."
It's not just Kimberley seeking other ways to manage urban deer. Cranbrook has recently put forward a resolution which says that current regulations don't address human-wildlife conflicts in urban areas and lacks the flexibility needed to develop new approaches.
McRae says he fully expects to hear from other communities now that a trial hazing has taken place.
"We had a videographer film the trial and he will do up a package, which we will distribute to any municipality that would like to see it. We also have to do a report for the government and we would share that as well.
"We do want to share all the good work that has been done in Kimberley by the Deer Committee. Kimberley has invested significant resources in this. It's important to share that with anyone who is interested."
If aversive conditioning is allowed by a legislation change, it wouldn't begin until next spring, leaving plenty of time for the provincial government to act. McRae said that now that the election is over, government will one again turn it's attention to issues like this.
"Everything stands down for the election, but now it's back to business."
An aversive conditioning program wouldn't be inexpensive.
"If we were to employ a technique like hazing, you would need a four to five week period in a specific area to condition deer that they are better off out of town. You'd be looking at roughly $300 to $350 per day if not more, for the use of the dogs. Having said that, for me I feel the money would be well spent. None of us want to remove deer by culling. Right now though, it's the only mechanism available."