Councillor takes aim at city’s growing deer population

The amount of deer making their way into the streets and yards of Penticton is both troublesome and potentially dangerous, according to one city councillor.

  • Jul. 21, 2011 10:00 a.m.

The amount of deer making their way into the streets and yards of Penticton is both troublesome and potentially dangerous, according to one city councillor.

Coun. Mike Pearce proposed a notice of motion Monday that the municipality “take immediate and all available remedies available to reduce the population of deer in the city before somebody gets injured in a charge or a car hits one and someone in the car is injured or killed.”

Pearce said he has received a number of emails on the subject in favour of the city taking some sort of action.

“The deer have become a problem here in the City of Penticton,” said Pearce. “One woman, who lives in a mobile home park, said she feels like she lives in a prison with fencing up all around her.”

And there is still as many as eight deer in the garden at any given time, he said.

The former mayor said the problem seems to be worse this year than in previous ones.

“The orchardist have all fenced off their orchards in the upper benches depriving the deer access so they are coming down here to get food,” he said. “I have four that sleep in my front yard. It’s not every night but they bed down there and they scare the living Jesus out of you.

“They are wild animals no matter what way you look at it.”

Pearce said the motion is a precautionary one.

“I am about being preventative as opposed to waiting to react later,” he said.  ‘When they are on the side of the road, like up on (Highway 97) when you are driving down along Skaha Lake and there are three or four of them, it won’t be long before one of them darts across the road and does a number on somebody who tries to swerve to not hit it.”

Pearce said if the motion is passed, council will have staff look at all options.

“It may not be that the recommendation from staff even comes forward for a cull or to shoot the deer, or anything else,” he said. “Perhaps they come up with a plan where we round them up in a humane fashion and deliver them somewhere else, like the Cariboo. Or another plan of a similar nature.

“I don’t know what is humane or not humane, but there comes a time when you have to decide who is in charge of your community: the animals or the humans.”

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