Letter: Deer cull the only practical solution

Kelowna letter writer says deer are thriving because their natural predators are gone

To the editor:

On Aug., 03 2017, we submitted a petition to the city clerk asking the city to create and implement a plan for the control of urban deer that are collectively causing damage to private property, and threatening public safety within the city’s incorporated boundaries, specifically the Kettle Valley and Upper Mission areas. We had collected over 1,100 signatures in support of this initiative. To this day we have had no response, whatsoever, from the mayor or council.

On Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, I read with interest in the Capital News that the provincial government recently allocated up to $100,000 to municipalities to fund urban deer management projects. As a result of the parks services manager, Blair Stewart’s comments I am very concerned that the city is going to waste this money and opportunity to realistically do something to solve the problem. On top of this UBCO is going to waste more money, and three to five years time studying the mule deer Problem. I am really afraid if this study is headed up by UBCO professor Adam Ford, who claims we need more wildfires to produce proper habitat for the mule deer.

I would suggest that if you want to know why we have an urban deer problem, ask the older residents in the Upper Mission. I moved to the Upper Mission in 1981. We hiked and explored this entire area, and very seldom saw a deer. We saw bears, cougars, coyotes, and even an occasional wolf. Deer predators, that is what is missing. We did not have deer living anywhere near us, and the population in the wild was controlled by the predators. In 2003 we had the Kelowna wildfires, and it was not until several years after this that we started to see the occasional deer in our yards. There was a lot of scrumptious vegetation for them to eat, and no predators; so they thrived and multiplied like rabbits. They are born in our backyards, and they are not leaving. It is too bad, but no matter how many studies are done, the only practical and permanent solution is to cull the deer in urban areas.

Frank Bechard, Kelowna

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