City awaiting word on provincial deer committee

Back in January, members of Cranbrook city council met with MLA Bill Bennett to talk about the city's current issues with urban deer.

Back in January, members of Cranbrook city council met with MLA Bill Bennett to talk about the city’s current issues with urban deer.

Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski said the meeting with Bennett was respectful and full of good discussion.

“I think our interests were laid out very clearly,” Stetski said. “MLA Bennett certainly listened to them and I think is really interested in seeing what can be done to improve the situation for municipalities.”

On Friday, Feb. 14, Stetski was scheduled to speak with the UBCM member in charge of organizing a provincial committee to look at urban wildlife.

“So they are just getting going with the committee, that’s the committee that the premier and Minister Thompson had promised during our meeting back in December at the UBCM,” he said.

Stetski explained that the primary interest is still in having more tools to deal with the urban wildlife. As it stands now, deer are property of the province and so legislative changes would have to come from that level.

“Again, we talked about our interest with having more tools to manage the urban deer situation that we have,” he said. “Basically there are four potentially that we are hoping to get access to in total.

“One is the cull, which currently happens.

“Two was hazing with dogs. Kimberley tried a one day experiment last spring and it worked quite well according to Kimberley anyway.”

The third option Stetski is hoping to see is tried out is translocation and the fourth is infertility drugs. The drugs are used in some places in the U.S.

“You can basically eject a doe and she won’t have fawns for up to five years, according to the research anyway,” he said, adding there are second and third generation deer living in Cranbook.

“Those are kind of the four tools we’re looking for in the toolbox,” he said. “So we’re going to wait and see what the provincial government and this UBCM committee comes up with.”

Stetski said at that point he wasn’t sure if anyone from Cranbrook will be on the committee.