Make better info available before making decision on deer

Letter to the editor regarding urban deer population

I have watched the commentary back and forth in the letters section of your newspaper regarding the urban deer population and find that most of the opinions published are on either one end of the spectrum or the other. I believe my opinion lands closer to the middle.

I live in Gordon Head and I love having the deer around, but I understand that without natural predators their population can get out of hand.

My proposal is this:

• There should be a study available indicating how large of a range is required by deer, or what the ideal sustainable population would be if it were a natural ecosystem.

• There should be a tangible study, not just some deer hater’s or deer lover’s estimation, indicating the current population living in certain areas of the CRD.

• In urban areas that are too far removed from natural predators, the only option seems to be a cull of some kind.

This is the part that I find difficult, as I do not like that a cull is seemingly necessary. The fact that humans can bungle up an ecosystem to the point where animals must pay the ultimate price is infuriating, but unfortunately, that is a problem that will not be solved in the near future. Unless you are a strict vegetarian, I don’t think you can argue against humanely killing the deer and using them for food, since most of the meat that ends up on our plates has a much worse life and death.

I envision a cull that is run in accordance with the hunting standards set in our province, as far as timing (September to late November), to minimize impact on young deer or pregnant does.

Obviously there is a cost associated with running a deer management program, but perhaps some of this cost could be recouped by selling tags to people who are interested in stocking their freezers with deer meat. A percentage of the cull could also be allocated to various homeless shelters in the CRD.

But I am not in favour of a kill that results in the carcass being unfit for human consumption and subsequently cremated and wasted.

I am not up on the current methods of humane killing in the absence of a rifle, but I have heard that trapping and then killing with a bolt gun is one option. This, of course, should be done by a person who is trusted to handle the situation with the proper amount of sensitivity to the animal. I’m not sure where you would place these traps, because I know I would feel compelled to let out any deer that I saw cooped up in one.

I hope that if we begin a management program that attempts to hit the middle ground then we can still enjoy the deer in our neighbourhoods, as they are one of the reasons I enjoy living here.

I find the attempts to paint them as property destroyers, or dangerous, or Lyme disease carriers, generalities that are uncalled for. I am more than willing to sacrifice my front yard flower bed and teach my kids about safe behaviour around deer so that we can enjoy their presence for years to come.

A. LaPointe

Saanich

Just Posted

Victoria women’s program in critical need of household items for women

Everything from dining sets to beds is needed to keep their programs running

Reported crash backs up Malahat traffic near Tunnel Hill

Traffic is affected in both directions

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

CUPE Local 441 and SD63 have yet to reach an agreement at the bargaining table

CPR month promotes hands-on approach to life-saving measure

PulsePoint Respond App alerts people if there is a victim of a cardiac arrest within 400 metres

Sustainable food advocates gather in Victoria for annual Good Food Summit

Attendees can take part in field trips, hands-on learning, keynote presentations

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Report predicts drug resistance likely to kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Most Read