A meeting on Nanaimo’s urban deer was held on May 31, 2010, and a North Nanaimo resident has this comment:
I do not see the deer as a problem, I see people as the problem due to a lack of education and lack of law enforcement pertaining to residential speed limits. Hammond Bay and Departure Bay roads are racetracks with barely any police on site. And when they are they are there, you can see them a mile away. As one who tries to live in harmony with the environment, I would hope the first recommendation coming out of this meeting is to come up with ways to educate the public and enforce the speed limit.
The deer population in Nanaimo at this point does not warrant any kind of interference other than education of the public and law enforcement. I believe deer populations are down. I used to have 13 in my area, now I’m lucky to see 2! Poaching is constantly going on: One hears shots coming out of Linley Valley at least once a month.
The nonsense about cougars coming into residential area threatening people is simply ignorance from people who have no understanding of cougars and their range. If you take away the deer which are the cougar’s natural food source, then you will start to see pets being eaten. Cougars by instinct rarely attack people. As soon as you remove the deer, there will be more cougar sightings and then the destructive forces in our community will start calling for a cougar cull.
Sterilization of bucks is hard to do because they have such an expansive range. If that were to have any hope, it would have to be done in the fall. The does are easier to do a tube ligation on but catching them in nets without injury would be tricky. Relocation does not work and leads to the death of the deers in short order – you might as well cull them as it would be a quicker death.
Regarding the ridiculous issue of “I can’t plant anything because the deer eat it all”, North Nanaimo is a well known deer habitat. Notice the signs along the roads. If you make the decision to move into such an area, it takes very little effort to educate oneself as to what they eat and what they don’t eat. The best thing to do is look around your neighbourhood to see who has beautiful landscaping. Talk to those people to find out what the plants are, or take a photo and bring it to a garden centre.
I would like to see education and law enforcement tried for a year before we resort to any kind of interference with the deer. If that fails, then sterilization is the most viable option to control numbers but not to eliminate them. If you could pass some of these suggestions and information to the deer committee I would be grateful. Thanks.
Arla Jean Murch of Nanaimo had this to add:
I really have difficulty believing that 30 deer are being killed on Hammond Bay every month. I go that route fairly often, and seldom see deer on the road. If they are around, they are watching and being wary. If drivers were going the speed limit, I’m sure there would be no deaths of those animals. How about speed bumps in the area? Or at least one of those signs that indicate the speed the driver is going. They seem to slow the conscientious a bit.