There is no disputing there are plenty of deer in and around Grand Forks. Unfortunately, the mix of deer and vehicles means plenty of Bambis end up meeting their demise at the hands of cars and trucks.
What’s left behind after the deer meets the bumper isn’t pleasant for most folks, but for others, it’s an important to the presentation of their culture.
Greg Sterling, vice president of the Metis Community Association in Grand Forks, told the Gazette in a recent interview that he is the only one in town with a permit to pick up road kill.
“At the deer committee meeting back in early part of the year, I was talking to one of the members there about how to go about getting a permit for road kill for the purpose of tanning and cultural use,” said Sterling, who is one of the Aboriginal representatives on the City of Grand Forks deer committee. “So we applied for it back in September. I just received it in the middle of November.”
Sterling said the permit he received is good for six months and goes until March of this year and is for the area of Eholt to Grand Forks.
“The purpose of the permit is to pick up mule deer, white tail deer and moose off the highway for the purpose of us using the parts, the remains, the hide, for cultural uses such as for ceremonial uses, for crafting,” he said.
Sterling said he was told by ministry staff in Victoria that he was likely the first person to get a permit for road kill in the area.
“We’re really proud to have it and we want to use it properly,” he said. “I know there have been people picking up deer and animals off the road. It came up at the (Committee of the Whole) meeting the other day. I have forwarded the permit to the RCMP, the city yard, Emcon, and City Hall. I just want to put it out there that we do have the permit to pick these up.”
Sterling said he would have a sign on his vehicle stating that they are removing highway animals. The application is for Sterling himself as the representative of the Metis. He said he must have the permit on him at all times, to pick up road kill.
“It is a shame when you thing of a few hundred deer that are road killed from Rock Creek to Grand Forks,” he said. “That’s a lot of hides, that’s a lot of usage of horns and everything else that we could desperately use for our crafting and our heritage ceremonies and stuff like that.”
Sterling said anyone who sees road kill on the highway can give him a call at 250-442-5848 or 250-443-4793.