Friday, August 23, 2013

Central Saanich District shores up deer plan

By Devon MacKenzie - Peninsula News Review
Published: August 21, 2013 7:00 AM
Central Saanich took another step in their efforts to quell the fast-growing deer population on the Saanich Peninsula at a recent council meeting.
Council voted unanimously on Monday, Aug. 12 to adopt two bylaws which prohibit the feeding of wild animals in the District.
Bylaws 1814 and 1815 prohibit the intentional feeding of deer, rabbits, racoons and squirrels in the municipality and make feeding the wild animals a ticket-able offence.
The bylaws are part of the District’s participation in the Regional Deer Management Program spearheaded by the CRD.
Central and North Saanich indicated an interest in participating in rural pilot projects last year which will provide things like community outreach on conflict reduction with wild animals, as well as investigate population reduction options and performance evaluation of management measures used.
In Central Saanich, police have worked to streamline the permit process for farmers seeking to do crop protection as well as council has requested the province allow use of deer harvested through crop protection measures (right now, any deer killed by farmers during crop protection has to be buried, left in the field or used only by First Nations.) The CRD has also involved two of the First Nations communities (Tsartlip and Tsawout) in talks regarding harvesting and using deer meat.
Oak Bay and View Royal agreed to participate in an urban pilot project that has some similar aspects to it including public outreach projects and bylaws concerning the feeding of wild animals.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


You might wonder how a buck got himself into a situation like this. You might even wonder if this is possible. Are these pictures photo-shopped? They are not.

Newly opened deer fencing, still folded, was thrown onto the head of this six-point buck. He was first noticed on Friday evening at 6:30 pm. His condition quickly deteriorated, and on Saturday he was tranquilized by a conversation officer on Linkleas Avenue and the netting was removed. The torn package from the new fencing was found not far from the first sighting.

Violence towards “urban deer” is escalating. In recent months poaching with crossbows has increased in the CRD. In Invermere, landscape workers on private property harrassed and threw rocks at a doe with three fawns, killing her.

So-called urban deer have much more to fear from us than we do from them.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Oak Bay considers fence to keep deer out of native plant garden

Jeff Bell / Times Colonist
August 3, 2013


The Oak Bay Native Plant Garden is home to more than 80 species, many of which are being damaged by deer, volunteers say.  Photograph by: DARREN STONE, Times Colonist

The latest salvo in Oak Bay’s tussle against hungry deer is a proposal to fence the municipality’s native plant garden on Beach Drive, near the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.
Although only 0.21 hectares, the neighbourhood landmark stands out as a protective home for a variety of plant species. The land was donated to the municipality by Ada Beaven in 1939.
Members of the Friends of the Native Plant Garden who give their time to maintaining the site are concerned about what deer are doing to it, said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen.
“Our volunteers who work there have told us that many of the very rare and native species are being damaged to the point of complete destruction.”
The garden contains more than 80 native plant species, such as camas and erythronium, along with Garry oaks and two stone ponds that were part of the plot’s original design.
Special deer fencing seems like the most viable option for keeping the animals away, Jensen said. Current cedar fencing is not a deterrent to them.
A proposal being considered calls for a 2.4-metre-high fence that would cost $7,700.
The fence would be made of black netting to help it blend in with its surroundings.
A public hearing on the fence is planned for September. A date has not been set.
Coun. Tara Ney said adding a deer fence to such an attractive, open space raises issues, but many people see a need for doing something to keep the garden thriving.
“I guess we’re at this juncture where we’re weighing up how we value the esthetics of that beautiful garden, and the need to protect the indigenous plants that are part of the garden.”
Discussion of the native-plant garden follows an early-July vote by Oak Bay council in favour of culling the municipality’s deer population.
Since that vote, it has become one of four municipalities — along with View Royal, Central Saanich and North Saanich — expressing interest in a Capital Regional District pilot project on deer reduction.
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