LETTER: Release the hounds

I believe we should encourage our dogs to keep deer out of populated areas, which is a much simpler, cost-effective, long-term solution to culling or sterilizing the does.

Editor:

I believe we should encourage our dogs to keep deer out of populated areas, which is a much simpler, cost-effective, long-term solution to culling or sterilizing the does.

Our communities are not necessarily wildlife corridors for whitetail deer that wildlife biologists now consider a pest.

The deer have thousands of acres of virgin forest and mountains where they have lived for centuries, wild and free in a natural balance.

The whitetail deer is in fact seriously overpopulated and is obviously not a threatened species.

Why are they so abundant in our communities?

They have no predators, at least predators that are allowed to balance nature’s plan.

If an endangered cougar/mountain lion enters our area, they are shot on sight.

Because deer are congregating in the community by the hundreds, who can blame a cougar for mistaking a young child for a slow moving fawn?

Of course one is sickened by the sight of a well-fed dog chasing a half-starved deer in the middle of winter.

I believe the deer would not be there and likely not be half-starved if dogs were a year around deterrent.

Instead of braving small town streets and waiting for a flake of hay, horse pellets or nibbling on foreign ornamental shrubs, these deer should be wild, browsing on willow tips in a protected coulee.

Whitetail deer behaviour has to be changed as the behaviour of bears is now being addressed by the introduction of bear dogs.

It may take a generation of dogs and deer to alleviate this problem however, this overpopulation has to be taken seriously.

Deer are chasing children and dogs, wildlife accidents are becoming more prevalent and yet people are adamant about feeding deer thus interfering with nature, all the while making all situations worse.

If any one thing should be illegal, it should be feeding deer. Allowing dogs to keep deer out of populated areas would lead to the best outcome for all parties involved, the deer, the cougar and ICBC.

This is a durable and historical solution, for centuries the duty of the dog has been to keep varmints and pests out of communities.

Leon Thiessen, Harrop, B.C.