Letter to the Editor: Deer problems?

I have been watching with some interest the ongoing debate that the Village of Invermere is going through.

Dear Editor,

I have been watching with some interest the ongoing debate that the Village of Invermere is going through with a group that is opposed to the potential deer cull. As a resident of Kimberley, we went through a similar process but, without opposition, the deer cull went ahead.

There aren’t very many of here complaining about it either.

Like your community, ours did have a bad deer problem and the cull straightened that out very well. Is it cruel or inhumane? Who knows? I don’t know of any humane way to kill something but the way it is done with the deer is probably the easiest and quickest way to dispatch an animal. If you think I am wrong then I challenge you to go to a meat packing plant and see how the animals there are dispatched. I’m pretty sure most of you would soon become vegetarians if you saw the horrors there.

The cull here not only lowered the numbers of deer but it also provided food for a lot of people who need and use the food bank. It also solved a number of other problems as well.

First of all, if you take into account the number of deer that were removed and multiply that by two or even three, there was a total of about 300 deer removed from the city limits. Most of the deer were females of prime breeding age and we all know that when conditions are very good, such as they are in a city environment, most does will have one, two or even three fawns. The majority of those fawns would have been female and the problem would have more than doubled the following year.

Right now, we are having problems with bucks. One lady let her small dog off the steps late at night and, before she was aware of what was happening, the dog was killed by a buck as soon as it hit the grass. What if that had been an elderly person? What if that had been a young child? I’m sure the outcry would have been much louder if that had been the case. But it was only a dog, so no big loss.

We have to start drawing the line somewhere. I got a real kick out of our local paper when a couple of “experts” came to Cranbrook to address the problem. Their proposals were worse than useless. One of them stated that other deer would move in to replace those deer eliminated by the cull.

Maybe! Then, one of them said that maybe we should use dogs and haze them out of the city limits. Well, you can’t herd deer and, even if you could, what’s to keep them from turning around and coming back into town to replace themselves? Is the city or even Invermere going to build a huge deer fence around the entire town to stop them from returning or will they just erect ‘No Deer Allowed’ signs all along the boundary? The first option is very costly and the second is a joke.

If you want to see deer running all over your town, overpopulating the area, dying of starvation in a year or two, attracting large predators that won’t really care if their meal has four legs or two, causing traffic problems in an already congested town, then by all means go ahead with your lawsuit and do nothing about the problem. However, if you want to see a few animals around without all of the associated problems they can and will bring, do the cull and make your lives a lot simpler. All your lawsuit will do is postpone the inevitable and cost a lot of money and tie up the court for a long time until it is too late one way or the other. There is only one logical solution to the problem. Do the cull!

Lloyd Freestone