Letter: Whitetail on range not at capacity

Our province is farther away than ever of having honest, intelligent conversations, writes Barry Brandow.

Deer Committee members Norm Walker and Barry Brandow do not support a whitetail deer cull.

The deer cull will obviously give British Columbians the impression that the whitetail deer on their historic range is at carrying capacity when the exact opposite is the case.

The hunter testimonials plus two 1987 reports by biologists Al Peatt and Bob Lincoln which you can find on wildlifeheritageforever.com showcase the collapse of integrity in the management of the Boundary deer herd.

The one quote of many that gives perspective to the argument is found in biologist Bob Lincoln’s report titled Deer Harvest Management in the Okanagan: Past Results and Future Directions, ”In the Okanagan where roads are abundant suggesting a potential for localized over harvest and where the wildlife management staffing capacity does not allow for careful monitoring of local deer herd status it is prudent to be fairly conservative in harvest strategy”.

In 1987 the whitetail buck rifle season was 67 days and the whitetail doe season consisted of a conservative number of limited entry hunting permits.

With 10 times the access and great numbers of quad bike hunters, the whitetail buck rifle season was extended during the rut when they are most vulnerable to 82 days and the three-week whitetail doe rifle season has decimated the population.

In spite of all the credible anecdotal information, three provincial biologists who have attended deer committee meetings have been steadfast that the whitetail deer have not been ruthlessly exploited.

Are the three biologists incompetent or are they taking counsel from their fear because their terms of employment will not tolerate criticism of their employer? Either way our province is farther away than ever of having honest, intelligent conversations about the management of our natural resources!

– Barry Brandow, Grand Forks