Council approves another deer cull
City of Cranbrook council last night approved an “urban deer population management program that could lead to the culling of up to 50 deer.
It also directed city staff to apply to the Ministry of Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations for match funding through the provincial urban deer operational cost-share program.
Council voted five to two to continue with a population management program, with Councillors Danielle Eaton and Wesly Graham voting against it.
The city received a Wildlife Permit from the Ministry of Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) on October 16, which permits for the capture and euthanization of up to 50 mule deer or incidental white-tailed deer. The permit is effective December 1 and expires on March 15, 2018.
“The cost to the city for the 2017-2018 program, assuming that 50 deer are captured, is $27,500 or $550 per animal. This includes all contractor costs, insurance, training and mileage along with meat processing costs and distribution,” a city staff report outlined.
The city will make application to MFLNRO through the Provincial Urban Deer Operational Cost-Share program for match funding for the city’s population management program. If the city’s application is successful, the city will be reimbursed $200 per animal, up to a maximum of $10,000 upon the expiry of the wildlife permit, the staff report explained.
The city has $55,433 available coffers due to a $30,433 carry forward from 2017 and $25,000 in the 2018 budget.
Since 2011, the city has conducted five culls, removing 88 deer from within city limits. It has never reached its 50 animal permit limit.
The city staff report to council noted “there is a significant decline in the number of reported deer aggression incidents in that time, with only 15 received last year compared to 35 in 2016. Additionally, RAPP line complaints dropped to 24 this year from 48 in 2016.
City deer population statistics from counts conducted between 2010 and 2016 note an increase in population in 2015 and 2016.