A deer roaming the hills in the Munson Mountain area. File photo

Penticton deer safe for now

Council votes not to pursue more aggressive deer strategy

The City of Penticton hasn’t done much to address concerns over urban deer since 2014 when it abandoned a plan to capture and relocate deer to the Penticton Indian Band.

Related: Penticton to spend $15,000 trapping urban deer

That’s not likely to change anytime soon. City council voted Tuesday to maintain the status quo, which includes working with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen on a regional approach to deer management, working with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service on aggressive or injured deer and dealing with other issues on an event by event basis.

“There is a perception that there is an increasing number of deer in Penticton,” said Blake Laven. “We haven’t conducted any deer counts recently. There was one in 2012 … nothing has been done to test that theory.”

Related: Penticton still has sights set on deer

Laven said that over the past year, the city has let the relationship with the RDOS on this issue slide a bit because the wildlife person chairing the committee was caught up in the emergency operations last year.

“Hopefully, this year the same issues won’t be there and we can really engage and get the B.C. Conservation officer service and the biologists and everybody back to the table,” said Laven.

Related: Deer cull not likely

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he was not in favour of a status quo approach, that dealing with the problem would again get put on the back burner.

“City staff take, on average, 52 or 53 deer to the landfill because they have been hit by a car or stuck in a fence and put down by the conservation office,” said Jakubeit. “That is probably way more than we could ever get approval for to cull, yet it is still not making, in some people’s view, a significant change.

“A lot of them have been born here, so they have no fear of humans. It is very difficult for someone to shoo them away from their rose bush, their garden or their property.”

Jakubeit said that re-engaging with the RDOS on deer control was a good idea, but pressure and momentum were needed to create a solution.

“But to just to say we will continue on, will we continue on? That’s where I have some concern,” said Jakubeit.

Coun. Andre Martin said he was willing to support hiring a wildlife consultant to work on developing an urban deer management strategy.

“Doing nothing is not a good option for us. We do need to move on this in some way or another,” said Martin, who argued that the RDOS and the city would likely be busy through the next few months managing flooding and other emergencies, as they were last year. “I just can’t see putting it on a committee. You are three years down the road by the time you get anything done with a committee.”

Konanz said she would vote against it.

“We went through a few years of this, round and round when I first got on council,” said Konanz, adding that provincial restrictions and processes are a stumbling block.

“There was a significant amount of people opposed to doing anything. I just think we don’t need to spend any more money on this issue,” said Konanz.

When it came to a vote, Jakubeit and Martin were the only votes in favour of putting out a request for quotes to located a wildlife consultant.

A motion to maintain the status quo, and to try to work more diligently with the RDOS and other partners, passed 5-2, with Martin and Jakubeit opposed.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

RCMP spike belts help nab alleged Okanagan car thieves

RCMP arrested two Kelowna men who attempted to evade two spike belts

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day with a powwow

Indigenous dance takes place at the Shatford Centre on June 21

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mainly sunny

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of showers tomorrow across the Okanagan

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

Vehicle smashes sign and cars in Summerland school parking lot

Driver of a Ford Expedition lost control, crashing into two other vehicles

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Man arrested during Kelowna police stand off

Water is flooding Highway 33 in Kelowna Monday afternoon

Judas Priest rocks the Okanagan

Judas Priest is on a 32 date tour of North America

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Most Read