Recent deer count shows stable numbers

The recent urban deer count shows a stable amount of deer over the last few years and accidents could be a reason for this.

According to Coun. Chris Moslin

At a recent Deer Committee meeting, deer count numbers released reveal a stable amount of deer over the last few years.

“The numbers are almost identical to September 2010,” said Coun. Chris Moslin.

“One of the things that is really interesting with the urban deer count is the high proportion of fawns; there are about four times as many fawns in the city then there are in the wild.”

Moslin points to the amount of traffic accidents that occur on the highway as a possible reason for the low numbers in the wild.

“The major culprit is auto vehicle kills and so those deer are being wasted that way. We don’t have an increasing population at this point, but we’re still at about 80 per cent greater than we were in 2007,” affirmed Moslin.

Mayor Brian Taylor agreed, “It would appear that the biggest predator, the car, is probably killing somewhere close to 200 deer within the area of Grand Forks.”

The issue of deer has inflamed some residents with cries of culling, while others protest the inhumane method. Regardless of what side of the argument one is on, the problem still remains over the number of deer and the hazard they possess to drivers and farmers.

Though the number of deer has not increased, residents of Grand Forks are becoming frustrated with the free reign deer have over the highway.

It was recently announced that with the support of the Ministry of Environment, the City of Cranbrook plans to cull 25 deer this fall.

Moslin said there would be observers when Cranbrook culls its deer population to see how equipment is used but Taylor stated that culls are a short-term solution.

“We’re looking at some innovative ways that we can do that here that will last over a longer period and doesn’t involve culling,” said Taylor.

Taylor mentioned possible plans include fencing, as well as relocation of the deer, which would cost roughly the same amount as culling.

The City of Grand Forks and the Deer Committee are a long way from deciding what steps will be taken in reducing the number of deer in the area.

It is unlikely any solutions will be decided on for this year.