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Posted: January 10, 2014

Elkford’s urban deer harvest update

elkfordlogoThe District of Elkford would like to provide an update to the community on the deer harvest being conducted under the permit that was issued by the province.

The permit authorizes the district to harvest up to 50 deer. The harvest commenced on January 6 and was temporarily suspended on the 7th by the province. Unfortunately the contractor violated a condition of the permit by harvesting deer on the sixth prior to darkness. An investigation by the district and the province immediately commenced and the matter has been addressed.

In 2010, after an increase in the number of complaints regarding the deer in our community, council directed that a survey be conducted to sense the pulse of the community on this urban deer issue. A total of 433 Elkford residents responded and one of the directions was to establish a committee of citizens to examine the urban deer issue (73% supported this). The results of the survey also indicated that the community wished to see a reduction in the urban deer population – 70% wanted a moderate decrease of reducing the herd by 30%-40%.

A Citizen Committee was established in 2011 and held numerous public meetings, researched and investigated the issue, conducted deer population counts, and eventually made recommendations to council.

One of the recommendations was to apply to the p;rovince for a permit to harvest (cull) urban deer, and another recommendation was to establish an Urban Wildlife Management Advisory Committee. Council endorsed both of these recommendations. The province, based on the research conducted by this committee and district staff, issued the district a permit to harvest deer and to process the meat for donation to local food banks. While other options were explored, such as hazing with dogs, this is currently not a legal method in the Province of B.C.

The district understands and realizes that any community that proceeds in this manner will fall under public scrutiny, and unfortunately incorrect information has been published as fact. The district would like to thank those who have contacted us directly and have done research and due diligence to collaborate their understanding of the urban deer issue and the harvest.

The district would like to clarify one item that has become sensationalized in regards to a child witnessing a deer being killed. This incident was formally brought forward to the district as a record of concern, and after investigation, it was clear that the child only witnessed the contractor transferring a deer into their vehicle.

At this time, mayor and council would like to thank everyone who has been and has recently become involved, and for those who have contacted us from abroad, we invite you to visit our town to fully understand what it means to be ‘Wild at heart.’

District of Elkford

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