I have never felt less sorry for someone whining in the news....
For years truro has fought hunters every step of the way and now that (surprise!) the situation has become unlivable they want a fast solution for the very people they have been fighting for years.
*I am snarky because they put in a firearms ban years ago in the whole town limits - no matter if you are legal distances or not. Screw them. ;-)
The longtime mayor of Truro thought a municipal election day plebiscite had paved the way for a deer cull in town but he’s disappointed with how slowly things are moving.
“We had a meeting with Lands and Forestry two or three weeks ago and I’m very frustrated,” Bill Mills said last week.
“We have followed everything that they told us to do with regard to pellet counts and our pellet count is up around 75 per cent over last year. We know there is a huge number of deer and we just seem to get more and more excuses.”
Mills said he was very annoyed leaving the meeting with representatives of the provincial department that has jurisdiction over wildlife-related issues.
“My question was going to be are you guys really interested in helping us with this problem or not,” Mills said. “Every time you say something, they have these hundred different opinions as to why you can’t do this, you can’t do that. In my view, that’s what their job is.”
The town’s website says Truro has received a growing number of complaints regarding nuisance deer in urban areas since 2016.
The town held a well-attended public information session in 2017 to provide residents with information on deer management. A survey conducted in conjunction with the public information session indicated that half of the respondents felt the growing population of deer was a problem but only half of those respondents, or 25 per cent overall, felt that lethal means should be used to reduce the number of deer.
The town has since worked with Lands and Forestry to determine the size of the deer population and how it compares with other areas of the province.
Data collected from 2018 to 2020, through deer pellet counts and roadside surveys, showed that the urban deer population had risen by approximately 70 per cent over that three-year period.
Based on the data, deer numbers are 2.5 times higher than populations in the local surrounding area.
“We’ve talked about trapping the deer with nets and everything, giving them tranquilizers and moving them somewhere else. I don’t think Bible Hill wants any, I don’t think a lot of people want any."
Bill Mills, Truro mayor
Several options were considered to cull the deer population, including relocation of deer to rural areas, contraception to reduce births, conducting a managed hunt to reduce numbers and maintain them at an acceptable level or to maintain the status quo.
Lands and Forestry concluded that a managed crossbow hunt was the only approach that had consistent proven results.
“Relocation and contraception were determined to be impractical by Lands and Forestry biologists,” a department spokesman said Tuesday in an emailed response.
“Managed hunting with existing methods is an option that is already available, however the challenge is to be able to safely focus that hunting effort in areas that will help the most in resolving the issues experienced by the town.”
The plebiscite conducted as part of the Oct. 17, 2020, municipal election asked voters if they supported a managed urban deer bow/crossbow hunt in the town to reduce the population.
The result was 2,311 in favour and 1,728 opposed.
The election also resulted in four new members of council and Mills said a committee is now being set up with the new council to go over all the data and what the next steps are.
“We’ve talked about trapping the deer with nets and everything, giving them tranquilizers and moving them somewhere else,” Mills said. “I don’t think Bible Hill wants any, I don’t think a lot of people want any.
“The problem comes down to this, if people would stop feeding the deer, that would solve a lot of our problem. Now, when they have their fawns in our backyards, guess what, our backyards are now their habitat. They are never going to leave.”
Mills said he hopes to have a safe bow hunt set up in a secure area during the months of March, April and May.
“People say what’s your hurry. What’s our hurry, we’ve only been studying it for seven years. … And people say you won’t win this battle. I’m not interested in winning, I’m interested in managing the situation.”