The City of Cranbrook confirmed it conducted an urban deer management program in the form of a cull this winter.
The cull ran from December 1st, 2015 to January 13th, 2016 and resulted in a total of 20 captured and euthanized deer.
“I am pleased with the results of this program to manage and control our urban deer situation,” said Lee Pratt, City of Cranbrook mayor in a recent press release. “I know some people do not agree with our program, but in the interest of the protection of citizens’ property, and the safety of our residents, it had to be done.”
The Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) issued the City of Cranbrook a Wildlife Permit on October 19th, 2015. It was valid between December 1st, 2015 and January 31st, 2016.
As a result of the Wildlife Permit, the City of Cranbrook targeted specific areas with traps that its staff had flagged due to a series of ongoing complaints from the community.
In addition, the results of the latest urban deer population count, which was completed on November 7th, 2015, revealed there were 137 deer — the highest population recorded since the program began in 2010.
The provincial toll-free Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line and Conservation Office also made suggestions about where to set traps in areas that were deemed high priority to the city.
The program was completed at $10,374 ($494 per animal), which came in under the $15,000 proposed budget allocated to the placement and tear down of each clover trap as well as purchase of bait and supplies; liability insurance; provincially mandated equipment training; mileage; vehicle cleaning; and processing and packaging; and distribution of 855 pounds of deer meat to organizations that ensure it’s used for human consumption.
The City of Cranbrook said it remains committed to the urban deer translocation trial set to begin in February, as the council has put $10,000 aside for the trial program. It expects to continue conversations with the provincial government for tools to cope with urban deer.
“The recent population management program was approved and organized before we knew exactly when the translocation trial was going to begin,” said Mr. Pratt.
“We have direction from our residents to try to deal with our urban deer population. The current method used to manage deer populations is the only we were authorized to do, which is dictated by the Wildlife Act and enforced by the FLNRO,” he said. “It is important for the public to recognize that this upcoming translocation trial is only a test and was never intended to move a large number of animals from each municipality involved, and large numbers of urban deer will still remain in Cranbrook.”