Friday, December 28, 2012

No second deer cull on the way for Invermere



By Kate Irwin
Pioneer Staff
Invermere council will not seek a second deer cull until the results of the lawsuit against the municipality are known and the public have been further consulted, mayor Gerry Taft has stated.
With a lawsuit looming in late January and no further solutions put forward by the province for management of Invermere’s urban deer population, the District of Invermere has no current plans for further action to control the number of deer in town, he added.
“There is definitely no desire to apply for any cull permits or take any action pre-lawsuit,” Mayor Taft said. “The outcome of the lawsuit dictates how we will proceed with deer management afterwards.”
Devin Kazakoff, president of the Invermere Deer Protection Society, which is suing the district, confirmed the group will be moving ahead with their trial against the District of Invermere. The court date is set for January 30th and the group is seeking public donations to help fund their legal action.
“We’re setting out to dismiss the bylaw put in place in August 2011 to reduce deer numbers in town to 50,” Mr. Kazakoff said. “We challenge how [council] came to the conclusion that we need to reduce their population.”
The group, established in January 2012 in reaction to the planned 100-animal deer cull, is also seeking to have recommendations adopted by council from Invermere’s Urban Deer Advisory Committee thrown out by a judge. These recommendations included a trap and cull program, relocation of deer during spring 2012, and an ultimate goal of reducing the urban deer population in Invermere to 50 deer by 2014.
“A lot of residents love the deer and want to see them protected,” Mr. Kazakoff said.
If animals must be removed from the community, his group proposes non-lethal solutions, including relocation and driving the animals out of town with trained dogs. Neither solution is currently permitted by the province of British Columbia.
The news the lawsuit will continue comes shortly after a volunteer group concluded the third deer count of the year to establish population figures. The number of animals recorded ranged from 185 the first weekend to 220 on the second count, with numbers dropping to 148 on the final weekend.
The discrepancy in numbers from the final count was likely due to poor weather, said Stan Markham, a member of the Urban Deer Advisory Committee involved in the count.
“We did three counts on consecutive Saturdays in November,” he added. “The figures were pretty much what we were expecting … The method of counting we use fairly accurately ensures no animals are counted twice.”
The numbers will be used to determine the biological and cultural carrying capacity of deer in Invermere, Mr. Markham explained.
The biological carrying capacity is the maximum deer population that the environment within the District of Invermere can sustain indefinitely. The cultural carrying capacity is the maximum number of animals the human population will tolerate — a point of some debate between the municipality and the group bringing the lawsuit against them.
Members of the Invermere Deer Protection Society were invited along to observe the final count on November 24th. In the past, the group has publicly criticized the method of conducting the count and the necessity behind it.
“We don’t agree that counting the deer is necessarily the way to go,” Mr. Kazakoff said. “They don’t have an objective as to why they are doing the count.
“We also question the methods of counting: it’s not accurate at all.”
The deer count was carried out by a total of 38 volunteers, who were paired up and each given one of seven areas of town to survey deer numbers in. The Wilder subdivision was found to have the largest numbers of mule deer, with the only whitetail deer spotted in CastleRock Estates and Athalmer.
Volunteers drove every street and alley in Invermere over a two-hour period, counting by foot in areas inaccessible by vehicle, and noted down the species, gender and age of animals spotted. But the deer protection society president argues that counting by vehicle does not produce accurate results.
Mr. Markham agrees that the counters will not see each and every animal, as participants do not enter backyards or crawl down into gullies to check for animals there, but said that this only serves to slightly underestimate numbers of deer in town.
“You can be relatively certain that we never over-count; there are always more deer than we see on the days of the count,” he said. “When counting the borders of each area, the groups walk the boundary together. It makes the possibility of counting animals twice very minimal.”
The Invermere Deer Protection Society, which claims on its website to speak for “the people of Invermere” is vehemently opposed to the killing of any deer and has publicly criticized Invermere’s mayor and council for what they say was inadequate public consultation before the original deer cull took place.
Mayor Taft counters that when the public were consulted via survey in January 2011, little negative feedback was received from the community, indicating that the protection group may not speak for the majority of residents.
“Going forward, a public survey or referendum is key because this is such a heated topic,” he said. “I think the direction has to come from residents, then the responsibility for decisions is one shared by the whole community.”


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Letter to the CRD December 18, 2012

To CRD Chair and Members of the Board of Directors:
We are writing on behalf of DeerSafe Victoria to express our disappointment in the way the deer management issue is being addressed in the CRD. At the December 12, 2012 meeting of the Capital Regional District Board, a request was made to expedite the Regional Deer Management Strategy process undertaken by the CRD in order to placate one or several Saanich farmers. Furthermore, an offer to work through the holidays was stated by a Director.

Included in this promise was a fast-tracking of the goose management strategy, the process of which has not been completed by the CRD's appointed Regional Canada Goose Management Working Group. The last document on your website indicates only that a progress report was filed February 29, 2012.

We would like to take this time to point out to the Board that planned culls in five BC communities have been “put on hold” due to a legal challenge before the BC Supreme Court concerning the deer management strategy undertaken in Invermere, with some publicly stating their reasons for doing so.

Chris Zettel, corporate communications officer for the City of Cranbrook, was quoted by the Canadian Press August 11, 2012: “I think there's an appetite here perhaps to maybe stand back and wait and see what happens with the court case involving Invermere.”

Penticton city staff has recommended to council that no further action be taken, at least until a lawsuit against the district of Invermere has been settled.” BC Local News, November 20, 2012.

Furthermore, the CRD is the only region in the province that has divided deer into three distinct categories: urban, rural and agricultural. Only a few members of the public have identified the issue of “agricultural deer” as a critical impetus for a cull of deer.

Therefore, we think it would be wise for the Capital Regional District to join the other communities in BC and adopt a prudent approach until more detailed information is available in the province regarding the legal aspects of the deer management issue. Until then, we ask that the CRD and its municipalities refrain from taking any action in this matter without first consulting with the public.

Sincerely,

Kelly Carson
Nabhraj Spogliarich
Jordan Reichert

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Farmer counts deer, geese as friends

Judy Lavoie , Times Colonist December 16, 2012



Deer and geese can be prevented from munching through crops if farmers work with their natural patterns and behaviours, says a successful Blenkinsop Valley organic farmer.
Farmers throughout the Capital Regional District are struggling to stop deer and geese destroying crops. Some farmers are closing fields or reducing crop varieties, and the CRD board is preparing strategies to deal with the animals.
But Nathalie Chambers of Madrona Farm has deer corridors, where deer are fed leftover veggies, and fields where geese snack on winter cover plants, leaving behind droppings to enrich the soil for next year’s crop.
“We love the deer in this area. They even sleep in my greenhouse sometimes. It’s like a homeless shelter,” said Chambers, who farms the 10-hectare property on Blenkinsop Road with her husband, David.
Bucks gather in the two-hectare corridor and appear to have bachelor parties, Chambers said.
As a bonus, a parcel that was sold to Saanich as an addition to Mount Douglas Park acts as an extension of the deer corridor.
“Deer have cellular memories of the traditional trails they take, and that’s one of the things we have to figure out,” said Chambers, who believes many problems Greater Victoria residents are facing are caused by deer being fenced out of traditional routes.
“[At Madrona], we are putting the deer into the equation, rather than shutting them out,” she said.
While deer are welcome in the corridor, they are firmly shut out of other areas at Madrona Farm.
Page-wire fences, at least 1.8 metres high and topped with barbed wire, surround the fields, and a deer-proof wire gate, decorated with golf clubs, marks the no-go area for deer.
“We have an understanding: We feed them behind the stand, and they shall not pass the gate,” said Chambers, who has had few problems with deer breaking into the prohibited areas.
Farther down Blenkinsop Road, farmer Rob Galey, with about 60 hectares under cultivation, has little faith in fences and says deer barge through holes or teach their fawns to burrow under fences.
Galey is giving up leases on about 12 hectares of farmland because of problems with deer and geese.
While Madrona Farm is smaller, Chambers cannot see that size makes a difference.
“It’s not about size. This works,” she said.
Proof comes in the exotic shapes and colours of the organic veggies that are sold at the farm stall and to high-end restaurants year round.
More than 100 crops are produced over the 12-month cycle and, this month, range from Brussels sprouts, squash and kale to rutabagas, parsnips and leeks.
Everything, except long-lasting items such as garlic and squash, is sold the same day it is picked, and leftovers are given to shelters or fed to the deer.
Canada geese are also offered options at Madrona Farm.
“Goose poop every foot is good,” said Chambers, who plants cover crops such as native sunflowers, bee balm, clover and chickweed once the main crop is off the field.
“The geese eat the cover crops, and then they poop,” she said.
That is brilliant for the soil and revives it for the next year without having to revert to fertilizers or pesticides, Chambers said, pointing proudly to her compost.
“We have had it tested, and it’s like gold,” she said.
But the geese get a strong message from strands of blue twine that they cannot land in fields without cover crops.
“They won’t land if there’s something that impairs their takeoff or landing,” Chambers said. “We get no predation from geese.”
The goose-deterrent strings are tied to trees, again demonstrating that there are benefits to leaving an ecosystem intact, Chambers said.
“We can’t keep tinkering. We can’t remove things from the ecosystem and expect it to function,” she said.
jlavoie@timescolonist.com

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wildlife Management Hits a Snag in BC with Low Deer Numbers - Wolves Must be the Problem. Cull Them.

Dwindling deer numbers in southeast B.C. worry hunters



Timothy Schafer, Trail Daily Times
TRAIL — Unlike Greater Victoria, where concerns are about an abundance of deer, hunters in southeastern B.C. are worried about how few of the animals they’re finding.
With the region’s hunting season now mostly in the bag, the head of the Trial Wildlife Association says there was little success for hunters hoping to put venison in their freezer this winter. Terry Hanik says hunters from Nelson to Castlegar, Trail, Creston and Grand Forks, noticed a sparse population of deer — both white tail and mule.
He says the low deer count is concerning and hunters are wondering how to re-establish the natural balance.
Hunters have noticed a high number of predators including wolves, coyotes, cougars and even black bears.
Hanik suggests the remedy could be to get rid of some of the fiercest beasts, but although local wildlife associations have been lobbying for the province to formulated some controls a plan has not yet been implemented. “You talk to different hunters and they aren’t happy. The odd hunter is getting their game,” he said. “We need a management plan to see what we can do with the deer, and why their numbers are down.”
The province released a draft plan in November for managing the grey wolf population, including the continuation of wolf hunting and the culling of animals in some areas.
“We have no other way if we want to save our deer, but also moose and elk,” said Hanik. “We are in bad shape all over. There has to be a remedy [soon] or else we are in dire straits.”
The province has found wolf numbers are stable, increasing by about 400 over the last 20 years to 8,500. But the plan also noted that in some parts of the southern Interior wolves are killing livestock and endangered mountain caribou.
In contrast, Hanik said he counted fewer than 100 deer in an area south of Trail between March and October. “At one time you used to be able to see 600 to 700 deer down in the area. Now you are lucky if you can count 75 to 100 down there,” he said.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saanich First to Cull - OR: HOW TO ENSURE YOU GET YOUR CULL BY HAVING YOUR FRIENDS APPOINTED TO A CITIZEN'S GROUP

CRD directors urge quick action on deer to save farms

Bill Cleverley , Times Colonist December 13, 2012

Saying the problem farmers are having with deer is reaching a crisis point, Capital Regional District directors on Wednesday urged fast action on a proposed deer management strategy.
The strategy will go to municipalities for consideration and feedback — a necessary next step before appealing to the province to implement measures outside of local control, such as a cull or changes to hunting regulations.
CRD directors also agreed to spend $150,000 to implement the strategy and to have staff fast-track discussions with municipalities with large agricultural areas, such as Saanich, Central Saanich and North Saanich.
Saanich farmer Rob Galey said the time for action is now, adding that fencing is not working
“These are not wild deer any more. They live here and they are not going anywhere. There is no real option here but to have a cull,” Galey said, adding he prefers a regional strategy to deal with the problem rather than having to resort to killing deer on his property himself.
Unless action is taken, local farms will be lost, he said. “You guys are going to have to stand up today and decide whether you want to save your farms or not because I’m here to tell you we’re not going to make it a couple of more years with losses like this year.”
North Saanich Coun. Ted Daly also said there is no time for delay. “We can’t just keep sitting back, the 24 or 25 of us, because this process keeps evolving,” he said.
A CRD citizens advisory committee recommended different options for rural, agricultural and urban areas and includes a gamut of possible options from fencing to a reduction of deer population.
Deterrents must be considered before the regional district will ask the province to approve a cull or to change hunting regulations.
Metchosin Mayor John Ranns said sending the report to municipalities is the logical next step.
“I believe this is the absolute best approach we can take in order to get measures in place for the spring planting season for the farmers,” he said.
After receiving the report, each municipality would decide which measures it wants to adopt, Ranns said. “The expectation would be that the CRD would then act as a central agency in taking the recommendations from the municipalities to the province.”
Juan de Fuca director Mike Hicks said it makes sense to tailor deer management to urban, rural and agricultural areas.
“We should focus on one thing — that’s how to give the farmers the tools to protect their crops. I suggest that means unlimited year-round hunting with no bag limit on farms,” Hicks said.
CRD directors also endorsed a goose management strategy that calls for co-operation with farmers, the province and First Nations. The strategy includes habitat modification, egg addling (shaking eggs so they don’t hatch) and more efficient hunting.
bcleverley@timescolonist.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

THE MUNICIPALITIES WILL STILL HAVE TO MAKE THE LETHAL DECISION

The CRD Board has decided to lead the region in some deer management solutions. These will include regional bylaw models on feeding deer, speed limits where deer collisions are most likely, and providing information on deer-resistant plantings. Board Chairman Young even suggests that the CRD could discuss immuno-contraception with the federal government.

But no one would touch the topic of culling in the CRD at the November 28 Planning, Transportation and Protective Services meeting. No one but the gardeners who spoke, that is. Landscape designer Lynn Morton stated, “Get rid of them. All of them. The sooner the better.”

The CRD Board will not be recommending lethal action against the deer – that chore will still fall to the municipalities, who will claim to be acting on the needs of their residents/taxpayers.

Sharp shooting and bowhunting in residential areas is off the table, but clover trap/bolt gun killing is favoured in the Citizen's Advisory Group's recommendations as a method to destroy inconvenient deer that avoids the use of missiles.

That is why DeerSafe Victoria sent a survey to 13 mayors and councilors. The communities with the highest number of complaints are the ones that are going to be pressured into lethal action. The CRD Board will not be footing the bill for culls in the region, but the municipalities will.

The municipalities erroneously believe that the CRD Board will be taking the lead in deer management across the region. The lethal solution will fall squarely on their shoulders. The public on both sides of the debate wants to know how knowledgable their mayors and councilors are about an issue that is likely to escalate in the coming months.

The survey as it currently stands:

"We're dealing with...much broader implications in B.C."

Cull case before the courts
Published: December 05, 2012 8:00 AM
Updated: December 05, 2012 8:21 AM
Carolyn Grant

Several communities are waiting for a result from the lawsuit launched against the District of Invermere by the Invermere Deer Protection Society (IDPS).

Penticton City Council decided in November to postpone their planned cull until there is a result in the court case. Cranbrook and Kimberley will also wait to see what the courts decide when the case goes to trial in January.

The case is complex, but the issue appears to be whether the District of Invermere consulted properly with its residents before beginning a cull last February. That cull only took 20 animals before a court injunction stopped it.

Last May, a Supreme Court of British Columbia judge ruled in favour of the IDPS, meaning they were free to continue with their suit to challenge the DOI Urban Deer Management Program.

While the District argued there was no reason to continue the lawsuit as their cull permit had already expired, the judge did not agree.

IDPS lawyer Rebeka Breder told the Invermere Valley Echo that the judge agreed with her argument that the lawsuit was not a moot issue. However, there was another reason the judge had stated, which Breder felt was especially important.

"If I were to take anything away from this decision, one of the reasons that he decided not to dismiss [the lawsuit] is because he found that the issues that we're dealing with have much broader implications in B.C. when it comes to animal control," Breder said.

"I think that's key, because there aren't any precedents right now in B.C. dealing with how much public consultation, if any, is required in animal control matters."

Meanwhile other communities have not quite reached the point of deciding a cull is necessary.

The latest deer counts in Grand Forks have shown a reduction in numbers from the previous years.
In Fernie, Council has stated they will not consider a cull at this time, but they have contacted other municipalities and asked to be kept apprised of how they may be dealing with the deer situation.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CRD TO LEAD BYLAWS IN REGION CONCERNING DEER

CRD, not municipalities, to devise next steps on deer

 Regional district should provide leadership on issue, chairman says.

By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist November 29, 2012

Deer lie on the grass at Uplands Golf Club. The CRD is considering solutions to deer in urban and rural areas.

Deer lie on the grass at Uplands Golf Club. The CRD is considering solutions to deer in urban and rural areas.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist 

The buck bounced back to the Capital Regional District board Wednesday in the ongoing debate over deer problems.

Instead of giving municipalities the next shot at deer-deterrent bylaws - which must be in place before the province will consider a trap-and-kill program or any changes to hunting regulations - the CRD board will first take a crack at coming up with some regional solutions.

"I don't think it's appropriate to send the report directly from this committee to municipal councils," said CRD board chairman Geoff Young, after 16 presentations from members of the public were made to the planning, transportation and protective services committee.

"It should be something the CRD board is prepared to stand behind."

The report distills recommendations from the citizens advisory committee, which looked at possible solutions to deer in urban and rural areas. Some measures could be taken by municipalities, while others would need provincial approval.

Young said the regional district should provide leadership by coming up with information on deer-resistant plantings or a model bylaw prohibiting feeding deer.

The CRD could also lead discussions with the Transportation Ministry about speed limits in areas where there are deer collisions and ask the federal government about approval for immuno-sterilization drugs, suggested Young.

"Managing wildlife and invasive species is something we are going to have to do as a developed area," Young said. "This board should provide some leadership because it clearly crosses municipal boundaries."

Directors should look at what has worked in other urban centres and what measures are already in place in Greater Victoria municipalities, said Saanich Coun. Vic Derman.

View Royal Mayor Graham Hill agreed that the report should be clarified and sent to the board.

"I see this as a work in progress," he said. "There's not going to be a silver shotgun shell."

About 50 people were at the meeting. The majority of speakers wanted deterrents.

Several said Victorians are becoming increasingly intolerant of wildlife and unwilling to make concessions such as planning for wildlife corridors.

"Once all the green space and wildlife is gone, it will be too late," Val Boswell said.

Development is a major problem, said Dale Lovell. "Deer have a place here. They were here before us."
The deer population on Vancouver Island is about one-quarter of what it was in 1980, said Tony Rose, who scoffed at reports that deer are dangerous. "Like any wild animal, you have to treat deer with caution, but they are not dangerous," he said. "Guns are dangerous."

But Dawn Sutherland, who was representing the Victoria Master Gardeners Association, said complaints from members are soaring.

"We have found there are no deer-proof or reliably deer-resistant plants. Every year, damage is reported on plants thought to be immune," she said. "A regional deer management plan can only be effective if it includes a significant deer population reduction."

Some called for total extermination.

"By definition, wild deer encroaching into civilized areas and farmland are vermin," said landscape designer Lynn Morton. "Get rid of them - all of them - the sooner the better."

Monday, November 26, 2012

The CRD is Not "Seeking" Public Input, They are Begrudgingly Allowing It

Public input sought on CRD deer report

Two months after a citizens advisory group put forward its recommendations for deer management in the Capital Region, the province has told affected municipalities to choose their own actions to take on overpopulation.
In September, the Capital Regional District's planning, transportation and protective services committee asked for provincial, federal and First Nations input on options that required inter-jurisdictional approval, such as a controlled public hunt.
But at an Oct. 3 meeting, provincial staff said any decisions must first come from municipal councils.
"The sense we got from both the federal government and the province was, 'Don't come and ask us to look at doing anything until you've done what you need to do locally,'" said Andy Orr, CRD spokesman.
Federal government and First Nations representatives did not attend the meeting, the report states.
Committee members will vote on Wednesday (Nov. 28) to allow staff to present the deer management report to municipal councils. The CRD's committee of the whole will also need to approve the recommendation.
The report breaks down the options into four categories: conflict reduction (such as fencing and anti-feeding bylaws), population reduction (such as capturing or culling), deer-vehicle collision mitigation (such as lowering speed limits) and public education. It is then up to each municipality to decide what measures to take to deal with the issue.
"The CRD could be instrumental in implementing the recommended management strategy, most notably as the information provider to municipalities on implementing deer management measures," the report states.
"The region could also take on the monitoring, reporting and evaluation functions, including administering the recommended oversight committee."
The CRD does not currently have a wildlife management service, and any staff work would require funding, the report states.
The committee meeting takes place Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at the CRD building, 625 Fisgard St. There will be an opportunity for public input.
To register to speak at the meeting, visit crd.bc.ca and search "deer management."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CRD PUTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEER ON THE MUNICIPALITIES

Conflict reduction management options, including fencing, landscaping alternatives, anti-feeding bylaws and repellants appear to be best addressed at the municipal level due to jurisdictional authority in consideration of the recommended changes. Similarly, as municipalities are the controlling jurisdiction over local roads, they are best positioned to adopt recommended infrastructure and administrative recommendations to address deer-vehicle collision mitigation.

Due to the distributed nature of the deer population and associated conflicts across the region, it is also appropriate for the decision on the option of capture and euthanize to be made at the municipal government level. It is possible that the CRD could assist in coordinating the provincial approvals required for those municipalities that choose to apply this option.

from Staff Report, CRD Deer Managment page:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

PROVINCE WANTS MUNICIPALITIES TO DO MORE ABOUT DEER

Municipalities told to do more about deer before asking province for help



By Judith Lavoie, timescolonist.com November 21, 2012

Municipalities must take the bull by the horns — or the buck by the antlers — before they can ask for provincial help in solving their deer problems, says a Capital Regional District report going to directors next week.
Bylaws prohibiting deer feeding and allowing higher fences, combined with public education about repellents and landscaping options, should be in place before either municipalities or the CRD goes to the province asking for changes to hunting regulations or a trap and kill program, the report says.
“In the case of population control measures, provincial approval is required, but conflict reduction measures need to be in place prior to qualifying for such approval,” it says, adding, “Conflict reduction measures are largely within the jurisdiction of local governments.”
The report takes the multitude of recommendations from the Citizens Advisory Committee — a group formed this year to address concerns about the growing number of urban deer — and distills them into lists of what is possible at the local level and what needs provincial approval.
“We needed to determine what was feasible and not feasible. How does it hit the ground,” said Bob Lapham, CRD general manager of planning.
Some of the more controversial proposals — such as professional sharpshooting and reducing distance regulations for firearms and bows — have been effectively scrapped. The report says those measures are considered socially unacceptable and unfeasible because of safety risks.
The CRD does not like the idea of being given authority to deal with aggressive deer, which is seen by municipalities as a form of provincial downloading.
“Delegation of such authority would come with added insurance, liability, firearms, staff training and other issues that municipalities are unlikely to willingly assume,” the report says.
Capturing and relocating deer has been dismissed because deer do not travel well and deer contraception is not available in Canada at this time, said Marg Misek-Evans, regional planning manager at the CRD.
However, some municipalities may choose to go it alone and ask the province for action on hunting regulation changes or culling with a clover trap and bolt gun.
“For people that worry this is an endless loop, options are available to municipalities right away,” Lapham said.
The question is whether municipalities want to act individually or regionally, he said.
“There are a lot of steps that can be taken in more rural areas. In urban areas, it is more challenging,” he said.
The report will go the CRD’s planning, transportation and protective services committee on Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m. Members of the public will be able to speak at that meeting.
The recommendation is for CRD staff to make presentations to councils before the report returns to the committee with municipal feedback. The committee will then make recommendations to the CRD board.
In Oak Bay, where there has been increasing concern over garden munching and aggressive animals, Mayor Nils Jensen said he hoped leadership and action would come from the CRD.
“The problem with a patchwork of solutions is deer do not recognize municipal boundaries,” he said.
The problem could be addressed by subregions as issues on Saanich Peninsula are different from the core, Jensen said.
“But we are certainly determined to take some action.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MUNICIPALITIES WANT PROVINCE TO TAKE THE HEAT OFF THEM

Penticton puts deer cull on hold

By Steve Kidd - Penticton Western News
Published: November 20, 2012 2:00 PM
Updated: November 20, 2012 2:13 PM
Deer wandering the streets of Penticton shouldn’t be worried about a cull of their numbers, at least not for a while yet.
While deer counts and other investigations continue, city staff has recommended to council that no further action be taken, at least until a lawsuit against the district of Invermere has been settled.
Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft said the lawsuit brought against his community by the Invermere Deer Protection Society is seeking to overturn resolutions made by their council, on the grounds that not enough consultation and investigation of the problem has been done. As a side issue, the society is seeking pain and suffering damages, citing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Since all communities are following the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Environment, a decision against Invermere would put them all in the same boat, resulting in a general freeze by municipalities on any further action.
“That may have been their intention,” said Taft, who feels the lawsuit may have been filed as more of a threat. “At one point they said if we promised not to do any culls in the near future they would hold the lawsuit and not go any further.”
Invermere now has a permanent deer management committee and is continuing with deer counts to gather information for a possible future cull or other action.
Mayor Dan Ashton said it is time that the province and Environment Minister Terry Lake took a more active hand.
“This is a provincial issue, we don’t have any control over wildlife issues,” he said. “Now all of a sudden a municipality is charged and defending itself. In my opinion, the province has to step up to the plate here … either delegate that authority or they themselves take on the responsibility of dealing with an issue that is going to continue to grow.”
Ashton said he hopes the province is not only listening to the City of Penticton, but listening to all the communities that are being affected by the urban deer problem.
“A simple way the city would have to get engaged with this is there may have to be a shotgun opening, extended season,” said Ashton. “We do not allow the discharge of firearms in the city core, but in the vineyards and the orchards, there may be an opportunity as there was before, but again, we have to work in conjunction with the province.”
Anthony Haddad, director of development services, suggested city council might want to do a survey to gauge what actions the community would like to address the deer population.
“This will most certainly be a requirement of the ministry prior to the issuance of any permits and should be considered before this matter is moved forward,” said Haddad.
Future Penticton deer counts might be done over the course of a week. The initial spring and fall counts conducted by the city spotted just 20 and 49 deer respectively, which Haddad suggests is not representative.
“Most likely, based on the complaints we received, the numbers are higher,” he said. “Municipalities are learning as they go that it is more appropriate to do two to three counts within a week … to better reflect an average.”
Offering his own anecdotal evidence, Ashton, agreed it is difficult to count the transient deer population, noting that Grand Forks has tried using paint ball guns to move the deer along. He suggested marking them during multiple counts.
“I had to stop on South Main as 12 deer walked across the road right in front of me,” said Ashton. “It is very difficult, we may have to look at how we do this and get a more accurate count.”


Friday, November 16, 2012

Re: CRD and the Pursuit of Control

[The] Capital Regional District has overstepped it's authority, and it's mandate. It has committed an offence so serious that it could be prosecuted, for spending tax-payer money, and trampling citizen-rights in the pursuit of PR control of an issue which it doesn't even have direct legislative control over, but seeks to represent itself as doing so!

Firstly, the issue is a divisive one, and there are residents in the CRD for it, and residents against it - that is not in debate. The debate is the handling of the issue by the CRD, and now this outrageous slap in the face of democracy. We hope that you can be instrumental in publicizing this attempt to derail democracy. This is not about support for either side of the argument in question - it is about the democratic process and abuses of power. We know that you can focus on that.

The bare facts:

Some residents of urban areas in the Capital Regional District began to notice deer moving into their areas over the last few years. To some, this is a delight, to others it is a nuisance. Those who fell into the "perceived as a nuisance" category, began to complain to their local Councils that "something needed to be done" to rid them of deer in their urban area. At the same time, farmers in the rural areas, who had failed to take the measures necessary to prevent deer from ingressing on their land, were complaining of losses of crops, and seeking redress from Councils for financial losses.  The municipalities mainly side-stepped the issue, (note that certain Councillors had already indicated a bias in sympathy with citizens who wished to see the deer removed by any method necessary), but when it became clear that pressure was mounting (from both sides of the argument - for and against), the municipalities deferred any responsibility for descision-making on the problem to the CRD.

The CRD - puffed up with it's own importance - relished it's moment in the sun! A chance to play God! And that's exactly what it proceeded to do...  It chose to ignore the fact that it was outside it's own mandate as a District Council as 
under Provincial Acts it is directly prohibited from dealing with legislating an animal control issue when the animal described falls under control of the crown (as set out in the Local Government Act), and it launched straight into setting up a fully-funded Citizen's Advisory Group to do just that! (A group which the public took no part in electing, but which was appointed directly by certain Councillors within CRD who had already indicated that they were far from bi-partisan on the subject). Note that any members of the group who were neutral at the outset resigned during the process because the process was so clearly tainted with bias that they didn't feel they could be part of it. This is a matter of record.  The CRD then, having appointed a group which was hand-selected, and already put in place by Councillors who were openly partisan, sought to repeatedly ignore representations from groups and individual citizens which it didn't wish to hear from - and extended invitations to groups and individuals which it DID want to hear from (there is ample documentation of this from both the shunned groups and individuals upon request). It then proceeded to PAY the "Citizens' Advisory Group" thousands to "consider" the issue (financials available upon enquiry), and waste futher thousands in literature, and online outreach to obtain the answer that it clearly wanted to see from the outset... and all outside it's legislated mandate. Not only is that clear partisanship, it's also fraud.

Finally, now the piece-de-resistance. The CRD has discovered that the groups and individuals which it had sought to ignore, or to dismiss, have been seeking to present their side of the argument to individual municipalities, and the CRD has REACHED OUT TO BLOCK THAT FROM HAPPENING. Yes, that's right - the CRD is now telling municipalities which citizens it will allow them to hear in representation on the subject.  Citizens who wish to speak to their own elected municipal Councillors now have to SEEK PERMISSION FROM THE CRD TO DO SO! The CRD has instructed the municipalities not to accept appointments with citizens who wish to speak regarding the issue unless the Councillor or Council has received the permission of the CRD to hear them! When the CRD has vetted their representation, it will allow the municipalities to proceed with accepting an appointment with the citizen, or NOT!

Clearly, this is an abuse of the democratic process so grotesque that it needs to be publicized far and wide. Whatever side of the issue an individual falls into, no citizen of the Province of BC should have to accept such an outrageous abuse of power and clear partisanship. Remembering of course that the whole process that CRD has been seeking to control actually falls outside of their legal remit to begin with, and should they proceed to seek to pass legislation they will be in direct contravention of the Local Government Act!

Further details and cataloguing of the events and decisions can be obtained from many individuals and groups, but your initial point of contact and research can be obtained here:

http://deersafevictoria.blogspot.ca/2012/10/crd-director-muzzles-deer-advocates.html

I am recommending that these people speak with the Ombudsman.

Regards,
Ann Daniels

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Our Lawsuit is Not Frivolous

Dear Editor:

The Invermere Deer Protection Society thanks Mayor Gerry Taft for his effort to explain the deer culling decision. 
 
His portrayal of the petition filed in BC Supreme Court as “frivolous” shows disdain for the judgment to allow the case to proceed, and disdain for the environment and for thoughtful citizens who appreciate and value wildlife in our community and are repulsed by the idea of a municipally sponsored, on-going slaughter and meat production program. There is no shame in sober second thought but doggedly pursuing the right to kill – perhaps.

On April 5, 2012, district lawyers sent a letter stating “the District of Invermere is not interested in negotiating a settlement of this matter”. The mayor talks of “lawsuit” and “damages” but does not reveal that a district bylaw is the main issue.
We met with the deer committee and they sent a nice thank you for “a great deal of information regarding urban deer management.”

Conservation Officer Service advises that avoiding conflict requires “simple behavioral changes” and the use of fencing and resistant species. That is why we provided information regarding education and other non-lethal methods of reducing conflict. The deer committee kept asking for “recommendations” in spite of our considerable effort. Now it is clear they were encouraged to engage and challenge – a disappointing diversion of energy. Sadly, in contrast to Cranbrook, Invermere is still waiting for the “public education program”. 
 
Why are municipalities so intent on accepting responsibility and possibly liability for the behaviour of wildlife? In the Wildlife Act “no right of action lies, and no right of compensation exists, against the government for death, personal injury or property damage caused by wildlife”. 
 
There is a wonderful new tool in wildlife management called “citizen science” – a component of a well-funded scientific study for the purpose of conservation. Local examples include observations of white tail deer in Kootenay National Park and wildlife in Crowsnest Pass; not the DOI deer count. The deer committee requested our “recommendations” about the planned count; however, they never provided the objective and methodology. 
 
We responded with information on counting in general including the recommendation from the Capital Regional District Deer Management Strategy that “there is no clear methodology to count deer in urban, rural or agricultural areas” and “volunteer estimates are likely unreliable and therefore not advisable”.

There is nothing frivolous in our concern that taxpayers and deer will pay the high cost for misguided determination to kill 150 animals. 

 
Sue Saunders
Invermere, B.C.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What to do if you hit a deer (with BC stats on wildlife collisions)

By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist November 4, 2012 7:02 AM


Deer, such as these on a Saanich lawn in May, are a controversial issue in the region.

Deer, such as these on a Saanich lawn in May, are a controversial issue in the region.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , timescolonist.com (June 2012)

Her eyes were wide open and unblinking. All struggles ceased after she fought unsuccessfully to stand up on the badly broken leg and it appeared as if now, lying in the ditch beside Oldfield Road, she knew this was the end.

Another deer hit by a vehicle, another shocked driver and bystanders wondering how to help.

"I really like deer. I have them in my yard," said the driver, who had not yet inspected the dented front of his car.

"I just don't want her to suffer. She must have been bedded down in the field and she came right out in front of me."

But who to call? The answer is either local police or B.C. Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

But don't expect the deer to be whipped off in an animal ambulance. Unless the animal is on the move, it will be shot.

B.C. SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre cannot take adult deer - although they take orphaned fawns - so adults either have to hobble away on their own or be put down, manager Kari Marks said.

"We can't take adult deer. They can't handle captivity. They get hyper-stressed if you try and enclose them, and fling themselves against the wall to get out," she said. "Broken legs are almost impossible to fix. You put a cast on and they just kick it off."

When a deer is hit, it will often go into a state of shock and then its heart gives out, she said.

"For us, that sometimes looks as if the deer is calm."

October and November are the worst months for vehicle-animal collisions because it is darker during commuting hours and often wet. It is also rutting season.

"It's a time when the animals are still really active. They haven't settled down for their winter rest," Marks said. "So just be vigilant and slow down. Almost expect them round the next corner."

When one deer jumps out, look for the next one, as they rarely travel alone, she said.
Wild ARC does take other animals hit by vehicles, which account for about 25 per cent of intakes.

"Cars are the enemy. They are the biggest predator of animals in our urban wildlife," she said.

Owls and hawks, attracted by rodents, are frequent victims, she said.

But a warning to would-be Good Samaritans: If you bring an injured animal, such as a raccoon or squirrel, to the centre, transport it in the trunk because many will defend themselves vigorously.

"We've had to do things like extract squirrels from under dashboards," Marks said.

Drivers are covered for damage to their vehicles through their comprehensive policies, ICBC spokeswoman Tamara McLean said.

"If you have comprehensive insurance, you will be covered," she said. "If you hit an animal, you hit an animal. It doesn't matter if it's a lion or you-name-it."

Although animal crashes are increasing in the Capital Regional District, there is a corresponding increase in all crashes, according to ICBC statistics.

There were 300 animal crashes and 17,310 total crashes in 2007, which increased to 380 animal collisions and 17,830 total collisions in 2011.

On Vancouver Island and throughout B.C., animal crashes have increased slightly, but the number of accidents has decreased. In 2007, there were 1,530 animal crashes among 36,950 accidents on Vancouver Island. In 2011, there were 1,910 animal crashes and 36,110 total collisions.

In B.C. as a whole, there were 9,900 animals crashes among 280,510 accidents in 2007. In 2011, there were 10,050 animal crashes among 258,370 accidents.

An awkward by-product of animal collisions are deer that stagger to nearby properties to die.

Any deer that dies on a private property in the CRD becomes the responsibility of the property owner. Unless it is on a boulevard or roadway, that can mean paying for a private hauler to take it away.

"Technically, it's the homeowner's responsibility and, in an absolutely lawful world, the animal crematorium would come and pick it up - at a price," said Marks, adding that Wild ARC fields numerous calls from homeowners who can't believe there is no method to dispose of a carcass.

Municipal officials quietly advise property owners that if the deer were to magically find its way to the side of the road, the problem would disappear.

But moving a large dead buck that is starting to rot is no easy matter, said one Greater Victoria resident as he considered whether dragging it on a tarpaulin would work. There's also the question of how elderly people or those in fragile health could manage to dispose of the carcasses, he said.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com


Friday, November 2, 2012

DEER CULL BASED ON EMOTION

Dear Editor:

In June 2010, some of us began our individual protest by talking to council members, writing letters and forming the first anti-cull Facebook page. The Invermere Deer Protection Society came together in January 2012, with the shocking Christmas announcement that the District of Invermere would start killing deer.

We’d na├»vely expected common sense would prevail, but the district made the misguided decision to slaughter deer in a doomed attempt to resolve growing fear and impatience with wildlife. From a viral video, an inflammatory Union of B.C. Municipalities resolution, a Ministry of Environment response and reports, eight short deer committee meetings, a biased opinion survey, and “revisions” of the Kimberley final report – they never questioned the myth of “too many urban deer”.

They ignored the Ministry of Environment advice regarding collaboration and focused all funds and effort toward killing, no matter what the cost to our community. They misused unreliable survey results, referenced anecdotes, and ignored thoughtful protest to justify, defend and promote killing. Even before the first committee was formed, it was assumed slaughter would please the majority throughout.

In the East Kootenays and all northwestern U.S. states, mule deer populations are declining. All efforts are now focused towards increasing their numbers. There is no overpopulation in Invermere, and because the slaughterhouse killing method was never meant to be used outside of controlled conditions, culling is not “euthanasia” (killing animals humanely to relieve their suffering).

The district argues that one benefit of killing is the provision of meat. Unwitting Invermere taxpayers then participated in a covert, non-profit, seasonal meat processing industry including slaughter, butchering and meat distribution. This is agriculture, not wildlife management.

So we are left with property damage and fear of injury as reasons to kill. Yes, there is risk and managing risk is an established science. Reducing the number of deer may reduce the likelihood of an encounter or damage, but will not reduce severity. If we fence to exclude, educate and implement humane, long-term, non-lethal measures we can successfully reduce the already low risk.

If it is merely our intolerance at issue, the district has done little to educate citizens to live with, accommodate and protect wildlife. In a 2009 Species At Risk Report, Invermere’s official community plan is criticized because there is “minimal allowance for wildlife habitat and movement corridors within the plan”.

When our injunction stopped the killing, rather than ending the conflict, council chose to fight on and vilify the Deer Protection Society in their determination to slaughter even a few.

We recently joined with other groups to form the B.C. Deer Protection Coalition. Our mission remains “advocating and supporting non-lethal deer management through education, research and political action.”

Sue Saunders
Invermere Deer Protection Society

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CRD Director Muzzles Deer Advocates

Two Langford residents and I attended a meeting with the Acting Mayor of Langford on Friday, October 19, 2012. These residents were instrumental in the creation of the deer signs that are erected along the Veteran's Memorial Parkway. They are very worried that the deer in their community will face a cull as the hysteria about deer mounts in our region.

At our meeting we described our concerns about the deer management strategy currently being reviewed by the councils in the Greater Victoria Area. The Acting Mayor suggested that sharpshooting would not be considered by the Langford Council, at which time we advised her that the “Capture and Euthanize” option uses a baited trap which is collapsed on the deer after several hours and they are killed with a captive bolt gun, meaning that no projectiles would be flying around Langford. She invited the residents to present to the upcoming Protective Services Committee of Langford.

However, after speaking with Councilor Denise Blackwell, who is on the Board of the CRD Directors, she was advised that Councils will not see anything on their agendas regarding the deer management strategy until referral from the Board. It is now suggested that the residents apply to address the CRD Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee at the next special meeting.

The Regional Planning staff is directed to convene staff representatives from CRD municipalities and other government bodies to implement the recommended management options. The public is left in the dark regarding the process that their elected representatives are using to review these recommendations – recommendations that favour lethal management of deer – and now attempts to engage our local councils are blocked by the CRD?

The CRD has taken it upon itself to block the democratic process when residents wish to meet with their Councils. The Board has ignored deer advocates throughout it's deer management strategy process, and there is very little faith among many CRD residents that the Board will allow citizens to speak at the next Planning, Transportation and Protective Services special meeting.

Continuing the arrogance, the CRD website states “When the meeting date has been confirmed it will be posted to this page (CRD Deer Management) with an indication of whether delegations will be received at that time.”

If other residents are finding that they are unable to meet with their councils due to interference from the CRD Board, please contact DeerSafe Victoria at our website:  www.deersafevictoria.com

Monday, October 22, 2012

Widely Available and Difficult to Trace, Poaching with Crossbows is a Menace to Our Communities Right Now

Carcass of deer killed by crossbow found in Cordova Bay

timescolonist.com October 21, 2012

Another deer has been found dead with a crossbow arrow lodged in its body, Saanich police reported Sunday.

The buck took an arrow to the side and was found in the 5000 block of Del Monte Avenue in Cordova Bay.
The severely decayed carcass indicated the buck was killed four or five weeks ago. Police say the arrow was similar to that used to kill another deer this month in a lot on Ironwood Place.

Saanich police have been asking for the public’s help to identify the person responsible for the deer killing, which contravenes wildlife regulations.

Crossbows and arrows are widely available and difficult to trace to the owners, police said.

Last fall, several deer hit by arrows were found in the same area, including four that died in a two-week period. Several deer were also killed in Saanich in 2010.

In a gruesome incident in Langford, a family’s tomcat was shot in the neck with a 40-centimetre-long crossbow arrow.

Anyone with information is asked to call Saanich police at 250-475-4321.

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

Saturday, October 20, 2012

WITHIN TEN DAYS FIVE DEER ARE POACHED IN INVERMERE

Invermere Suffers From Deer-Poaching Spree


By Kristian Rasmussen
Pioneer Staff

On five separate occasions from October 2nd to 12th, local conservation officers have been called out to deal with injured or dead deer that have fallen victim to poachers. These included a partially butchered fawn, a wandering buck with hanging intestines and several reports of a buck with its jaw shot off and an arrow in its back.

“We want people to be a little more vigilant if they see any suspicious hunting activities, day or night,” said Greg Kruger, Invermere conservation officer. “We are concerned for the wildlife and, because a lot of this activity is illegal, we are worried about the safety of the citizens of Invermere.”

The reports began with an injured deer wandering near Home Hardware on October 2nd.

“Its guts were hanging out,” Mr. Kruger added. “The RCMP had to put it down.”

Upon inspection, it was found that the mule deer buck had been shot with either an arrow or a bolt, the head of which was lodged in its leg.

The next incident took place on October 8th, when a resident in the area surrounding Kpokl Road reported hearing a gunshot at 10:30 p.m. Conservation officers investigated the next morning and made a startling discovery involving a mule deer fawn.

“I found the deer was poached, shot, and partially butchered,” Mr. Kruger said. “We are baffled because we don’t understand the reason why anyone would target a fawn.”

Immediately after, Mr. Kruger was redirected to another report of poaching just half a kilometer south of Kpokl Road in the area surrounding Walker Lane.

“There was a larger mule deer with its bottom jaw broken and hanging freely,” he said. “We are speculating that it was very likely shot off.”

Invermere conservation officers tried to approach the deer, but it was spooked by a passing train and ran into the surrounding wilderness. The deer was spotted again October 10th in the area of Johnson and Westside Road, but left before conservation officers could attend.

The buck was finally located on October 12th, after a resident in the Stark Drive area phoned to report that a deer was suffering badly on her property. Conservation officers put the animal down.

“I would be speculating, but it likely is a group committing these crimes,” Mr. Kruger said. “Certain individuals and poachers will target more of the trophy animals and take the risk.”
Although poachers have become more brazen in recent weeks, they face stiff penalties if caught. Those convicted of their first poaching offence face a fine of between $1,000 and $100,000 and up to a year in jail, or both.

“We do take this very seriously,” Mr. Kruger said. “It is a very serious public concern if people are discharging weapons within the municipality.”

To report poaching in the community citizens are asked to call the 24 hours Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277 or call 911.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

City of Fernie to hold off on action against urban deer

By Nicole Liebermann - The Free Press
Published:
October 17, 2012 2:00 PM
Updated:
October 17, 2012 2:42 PM
 
Deer in Fernie can continue to roam the streets and backyards of the city safely. City council has decided not to go forward with a cull to deal with the community’s urban deer population.

A recent letter from a Fernie resident prompted council to discuss whether or not the city has a deer problem at a regular meeting held on October 9. The letter was addressed to mayor and council and asks what they intend to do about the deer population problem.

With several other Kootenay communities currently dealing with deer culls, and Invermere facing court action to defend their public involvement process following a cull, Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano felt it was important for the city to address their deer situation with caution.

Even if we had a horrendous deer problem, we really need to wait and see what happens with Invermere before anything could be done,” commented Giuliano. “It sounds like this process is long and it’s difficult, and if we have the same kind of animal lovers, and I think we do, that they have in Invermere, we will be facing the same kind of court problems that they are facing.”

Bear Aware Coordinator for the Elk Valley, Kathy Murray, attended the meeting and reinforced that Fernie is limited in their options when dealing with any wildlife issues. She expressed the importance of continuing to educate residents on how to avoid encounters with deer.

The reality is that we’ve all chosen to live here in bear country and with other wildlife,” said Murray. “There are more people and more wildlife sharing our habitat, so we’re going to have to buckle up, manage attractants, and be more tolerant of wildlife.”

Council members and Murray all agreed that should anyone encounter an aggressive or problem deer, the best course of action is to call a Conservation Officer, who can immediately deal with the situation.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cranbrook deer cull on hold over court action fears

The Canadian Press October 5, 2012

CRANBROOK — Court action launched against one southeastern B.C. town has left Cranbrook officials gun shy as they consider another cull of mule deer.
Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski says Invermere council is being forced into court to defend the public involvement process used to approve its cull of 100 deer in March.
Stetski says Cranbrook relied on the same process, and he worries about repercussions if the court finds fault with Invermere's methods.
He notes problem deer in Cranbrook could be relocated, rather than shot, if opponents pay the difference between the cost of a cull and a relocation program, which is more expensive.
Urban deer have become a significant problem in the Kootenay and Okanagan, as habituated animals chase and attack dogs and people.
Cranbrook, Invermere and Kimberley have carried out culls of aggressive deer, while Grand Forks and Penticton are considering the method. (CHBZ)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Sign of the Times in Victoria

Langford cat survives arrow to the neck in second crossbow incident this week




By Derek Spalding, Times Colonist October 6, 2012


Ozzy the cat and his owner Donna La Rose at their home in Langford. The cat is recovering after being shot with an arrow.

Ozzy the cat and his owner Donna La Rose at their home in Langford. The cat is recovering after being shot with an arrow.

Photograph by: Darren Stone , timescolonist.com (September 2012)

Ozzy the tomcat is recovering in his Langford home after having a crossbow arrow removed from his neck.
Donna La Rose said the family pet had been missing for several days before he walked into their backyard on Jacklin Road with a 40-centimetre arrow sticking straight up behind its head.
The arrow penetrated Ozzy’s back, narrowly missing his shoulder and spine. The tip was sticking out from his chest.
Donna ran into the house screaming for her husband, Ron, and then phoned police.
“I don’t know who would do something like that,” she said.
This is the second incident of a crossbow being used on an animal in the Capital Regional District in a week. A dead deer with an arrow protruding from its abdomen was discovered in an empty lot last week near Cordova Bay.
Ozzy went missing Sunday, but La Rose continued putting food on the back porch, hoping that he would come home. On Friday morning, she again went out to check on him — and that’s when she saw the black and white cat walking across the yard.
The 11-year-old pet underwent surgery to have the arrow removed and is now recovering.
Ron, who hunts and fishes regularly, was surprised by how much the incident has shaken the family.
“I never would have thought something like this would bother me this much,” he said. “This is the type of thing that gives hunting a bad name.”
Langford bylaws do not allow residents to use bows and crossbows in backyards. Until last year, an exception allowed them to be used with practice tips.
“We take this matter very seriously, and we hope the public will be able to help us out,” said Cst. Alex Berube from the Westshore RCMP. “We see people shooting deer, but this is a cat — it’s pretty shocking.”
Because crossbows are so widely available, they are difficult to trace to their owners. The Mounties have collected the arrow and will try to lift fingerprints from it, but they may have to rely heavily on the public in order to make an arrest.
“Maybe someone is out there bragging about shooting a cat in the neck,” Berube said.
Westshore RCMP are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 250-474-2264 .
dspalding@timescolonist.com

Friday, October 5, 2012

Presentation by the United Bowhunters of British Columbia to the Provincial Hunting Regulations and Allocations Advisory Committee February 6, 2007 (Removed from the UBBC website)


A Painful Death

Dead deer found with arrow in its abdomen

Times Colonist October 5, 2012

Saanich police are looking for whoever shot an arrow at a male deer, killing it. The dead buck was discovered Wednesday by a resident of Ironwood Place in the Claremont area.



Saanich police are looking for whoever shot an arrow at a male deer, killing it. The dead buck was discovered Wednesday by a resident of Ironwood Place in the Claremont area.

Photograph by: Handout , Times Colonist

A juvenile male deer was shot by an arrow and died sometime later, its lifeless body found Wednesday, Saanich police say.
The arrow was protruding from the buck’s abdomen, meaning the animal likely suffered a painful and inhumane death, said Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen. The deer was found in a vacant lot on Ironwood Place, near Claremont Avenue and the Patricia Bay Highway.
Shooting deer in the municipality contravenes wildlife regulations and is a concern to police, Jantzen said.
Crossbows and arrows are widely available, making it difficult to trace the hunter through the arrow. Police are relying on the public to report sightings of people with crossbows, who are likely hunting during the evening or nighttime.
There are no links between this killing and similar ones last year, police said, although they occurred in the same general area.
The motive of the hunter may be a trophy of the antlers, known as racks. While this young animal had a small rack, there are plenty in the municipality that are older and have larger, multi-point racks.
Jantzen said he hopes the public will co-operate with police, even though there are many who believe Greater Victoria has too many of the animals.
“I think, honestly, despite what the feelings might be in the community, we all enjoy living next to urban forests and these animals,” Jantzen said.
Last fall, several deer were shot with arrows, including four that died in a two-week period. Several deer were also killed in Saanich in 2010.
Saanich police are asking anyone with information to call them at .
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Legal or Illegal, This is Bow Hunting

Poacher kills deer with green arrow in Saanich

GreenArrowDeer.jpg
This green arrow killed a buck that was found in a grassy lot on Ironwood Place near Claremont school.
Saanich police image
By Staff Writer - Saanich News
Published: October 04, 2012 11:00 AM
Updated: October 04, 2012 4:52 PM
A person mowing a vacant lot found a dead deer yesterday with an green arrow lodged in its right abdomen, in the first case of poaching this fall.
The person found the buck in a grassy lot on Ironwood Place near Claremont high school, around 1:45 p.m., and called the Saanich pound. Officers estimate the animal had been there for a one or two days.
Saanich pound investigators suspect the poacher shot the animal with a crossbow, and it bolted and fled an unknown distance.
The area is surrounded by residential neighbourhoods, but Elk/Beaver Lake park is directly west, across the Pay Bay Highway. Herds of deer are also known to live in the Mount Doug area, to the southeast.
Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said pound officers have tallied three or four deer shot with arrows in the Claremont area in the past few years. “That area seems to be a focal point,” Jantzen said. “This animal appears to have fled from where it was struck. It is certainly a painful way to go.”
A photo released by the Saanich police shows the buck covered in flies, with an arrow with dark green fletchings (feathers) protruding from is rear-mid abdomen.
Saanich had nine known deer poaching instances in the fall of 2010, and four last fall, where people found animals with arrow wounds or with heads and limbs cut off. Witnesses reported a few living deer walking around with arrows sticking out of their bodies.
“This is a safety issue as much as a wildlife issue. Crossbows shoot with significant velocity and are capable of dropping a deer,” Jantzen said. “They are a high-velocity weapon.”
Police are reminding people that deer hunting in urban Greater Victoria is illegal, and contravenes municipal bylaws. Discharging weapons, including crossbows, in an urban area can bring criminal charges.
Anyone witnesses poaching or has information on this incident can call Saanich police at 250-475-4321.
editor@saanichnews.com