|After several controversial years of killing their excess deer, a quartet of interior B.C. communities started a new system of merely deporting their unwanted ungulates.|
Rolled out last winter, the $100,000 program live-trapped 80 deer from the Kootenay-region towns of Kimberley, Invermere, Cranbrook and Elkford, and then trucked them to far-flung wilderness areas.
|The deer relocation plan was struck in response to massive opposition to the current policy of ensnaring urban deer and then dispatching someone in the morning with a bolt gun to dispatch them.|
The Animal Alliance of Canada, has favored dealing with problem deer through anti-feeding bylaws, by distributing deer birth control and “hazing” the animals with dogs. After a lifetime in the carnivore-free rose gardens of Kimberley and Invermere, the animals are likely unprepared for the rigors of avoiding hungry bears, wolves or cougars.
|The relocation isn’t intended to clear the Kootenay towns permanently of pesky deer, it is merely a pilot project.|
"The lack of opposition in the (council) room today shows this is heading in the right direction,” Paul Denchuk said. “When we first sat as a council any time there was anything to do with the deer, there’d be 50 people in this room, yelling at us.”