Deer cull the only solution

Although Eva Durance and I often see eye-to-eye on local environmental issues, I must take exception to her letter regarding deer deterrence (letters, Aug. 12) rather than a cull. It may be that there are some circumstances where deer could be deterred from coming into one’s yard, but the situation here in Kaleden totally precludes such a program, and I suspect the same circumstances are true elsewhere in the Okanagan.

Although Eva Durance and I often see eye-to-eye on local environmental issues, I must take exception to her letter regarding deer deterrence (letters, Aug. 12) rather than a cull. It may be that there are some circumstances where deer could be deterred from coming into one’s yard, but the situation here in Kaleden totally precludes such a program, and I suspect the same circumstances are true elsewhere in the Okanagan.

I have catalogued most of the property in Kaleden, and in the last eight years the amount of land closed to deer by fencing has more than tripled, perhaps even quadrupled, so when trying to scare deer to go elsewhere there is no elsewhere for them to go. In addition, about 10 years ago a large deer control fence was installed along the west side of Highway 97 pretty much from Penticton to Highway 3A so the deer cannot escape into the mountains. While the intent of this fence was to keep deer from coming down from the mountains and being killed on the highway, as usual with human activity, there has been unintended consequences — the deer are stuck in Kaleden.

With no predators to control their skyrocketing population and a rapidly diminishing land base on which to graze, the deer have become a serious problem. We don’t need a committee to study this issue — a look on the internet shows numerous studies have been done across Canada and the U.S.A. The only solution that works is a cull.

Trapping and relocating deer has proven to be very expensive where it has been tried. And it was also found to be cruel to the deer with a high mortality rate. A properly carried out cull is not cruel or inhumane and the local food banks would be big beneficiaries.

Robert Handfield

 

Kaleden