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Truro to vote on crossbow cull of growing deer population

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'It's a mess and there's just too many of them,' one resident says

Haley Ryan · CBC News ·

Posted: Sep 11, 2020 8:01 PM AT | Last Updated: September 11

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A doe and two fawns cross some grass in Truro on Sept.11, 2020. The town's large urban deer population has gotten out of hand and residents are being asked whether they support a cull. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

When Truro, N.S., residents cast their municipal ballots next month, they'll be voting on a four-legged problem alongside mayor and council.

The town has been trying to manage a deer problem for the past few years, according to mayor Bill Mills.

"Our deer population is exploding," Mills said. "People are not planting flowers like they were before. Shrubs are damaged, all kinds of things."

After three years of working on a plan with the provincial Department of Natural Resources, Mills said the last step is asking the public whether they support a deer cull.

Residents will be asked a yes or no question: do they support a managed bow/crossbow hunt to "control and reduce" the urban deer population?

Last cull caused concern

Mills said they will then have a good gauge on how the community feels about the situation. He said they have also learned from their mistakes.

There was a controlled hunt in the upper area of Victoria Park two years ago, where volunteers could fill out an application, then go hunting for deer with a crossbow.

Town staff spotted a couple hunters who had left the hunting area and seeing people walking through the park with crossbows made people "very uncomfortable" and some were afraid to go into the green space at all, Mills said.

Mills said this hunt will be different and they are working out the details of what that might look like now. He said they have also had offers from groups who could come in and do a controlled hunt for the town.

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Bill Mills is mayor of Truro. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The town's deer have been rising in numbers, Mills said. A count of their droppings for 2020 was up 79 per cent over last year.

Another major concern is that the deer are also bringing ticks into Truro, Mills said. One resident showed him a photo of a deer with 10 or 15 ticks on its back.

Mills said he knows how serious the tick and Lyme disease problem has grown on the South Shore and doesn't want that to happen in their area.

Feeding continues despite warnings

Some residents continue to leave food out for the deer despite repeated warnings.

"You will see people open their second-storey apartment window and throw out carrots and other things, and that's completely unacceptable," he said.

In 2015, a Truro woman was ticketed $233.95 for violating the town's bylaw governing feeding wild birds and animals, and Mills said he's thought about bringing in a steeper fine if things don't change.

Resident Karen Brodeur said she has mixed feelings about the situation.

She doesn't usually support hunting, but agreed that the town is in "a bit of a predicament" with the deer bringing some dangers into the town limits.

Other Truro locals told CBC a hunt might be the only option because deer are always wandering into the roads and leaving large amounts of droppings in backyards.

Leslie Learning said her family doesn't put out a garden anymore because the deer destroy everything.

Although the deer are cute, she said she would support a cull.

"It's a mess and there's just too many of them," Learning said.

Truro residents vote on Oct.17 and Mills predicts the deer decision will be "very close."
 

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.........and que the Mi'kmaq sharpshooters lol!
 

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Hay guys not to many years ago I received a call from a friend at DNR big game dept. would you and your clan go to Mahone Bay and help with the deer problem. And we did. Back yard hunting with bow
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Nice to harvest one deer walk out of the blind pass the bow to my brother as friend would be there with a Tims and a muffin as I came out. We would stand and watch from in the house as my bother would arrow another 15 min later. Clean them behind the house and load them in the truck by 10:30,and back on the next weekend This went on for 3years 5 dollars a tag. The numbers dropped and we stopped going down for hunts. This was successful with the town half full of anti hunters.
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Truro electors also supported a plebiscite question that asked whether they supported a managed urban deer bow/crossbow hunt in an effort to control the deer population.

A total of 2,311 electors voted in favour of the hunt while 1,728 voted against.
 

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So much anger towards everything... :-(
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Truro electors also supported a plebiscite question that asked whether they supported a managed urban deer bow/crossbow hunt in an effort to control the deer population.

A total of 2,311 electors voted in favour of the hunt while 1,728 voted against.
Wow! I am surprised. Having watched Truro from afar for a while I never thought the residents would vote that way. I thought the "cute deer" crowd would always win.

It'll be interesting to see what happens next!

Thanks for that news!

R
 

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Cue the native hunters to go in there with their treaty rights and start selling deer meat to make a modest living.
 

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Cue the native hunters to go in there with their treaty rights and start selling deer meat to make a modest living.
Too easy , they would insist on traveling surface streets with rifles , saying it's their right to self govern the cull as they see it to be carried out , oh wait warm up the chopper at tax payers dime while they are at it .
 

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BIGGGGG OPPORTUNITY here to get a few supervised / handicapped hunts in. Surely one, TWO or three even of the associations that are supposedly "hunters representatives" could bring this to fruition and perhaps shed some positive light on Hunters / groups willing to go the extra mile to help out some of the less fortunate ones with mobility and other life altering issues.

Nothin noisy...smokey or restrictive or difficult to draw and hold back.....enter the crossbow
 

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BIGGGGG OPPORTUNITY here to get a few supervised / handicapped hunts in. Surely one, TWO or three even of the associations that are supposedly "hunters representatives" could bring this to fruition and perhaps shed some positive light on Hunters / groups willing to go the extra mile to help out some of the less fortunate ones with mobility and other life altering issues.

Nothin noisy...smokey or restrictive or difficult to draw and hold back.....enter the crossbow
Excellent idea. You could not have thought of that yourself
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BIGGGGG OPPORTUNITY here to get a few supervised / handicapped hunts in. Surely one, TWO or three even of the associations that are supposedly "hunters representatives" could bring this to fruition and perhaps shed some positive light on Hunters / groups willing to go the extra mile to help out some of the less fortunate ones with mobility and other life altering issues.

Nothin noisy...smokey or restrictive or difficult to draw and hold back.....enter the crossbow
Don't get too carried away in your hopes. There was a FAQ about the "bow hunt" and one question was who would be hunting. The answer just stated that the town an DNR have a method in place to recruit qualified, proficient hunters for it and that there will NOT be an open call for hunters. The way I read that says that the average joe with a bow license will not get to do it. It didn't elaborate at all.
 

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Actually...been sayin it for years...problem is the hard of hearing are runnin the shows
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BIGGGGG OPPORTUNITY here to get a few supervised / handicapped hunts in. Surely one, TWO or three even of the associations that are supposedly "hunters representatives" could bring this to fruition and perhaps shed some positive light on Hunters / groups willing to go the extra mile to help out some of the less fortunate ones with mobility and other life altering issues.

Nothin noisy...smokey or restrictive or difficult to draw and hold back.....enter the crossbow
So true Kevin execellent opportunity to help those unable but unfortunately as said above it ain't gonna happen. The plan is already in place and we can all guess who gets the cake!
 

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True enuff Dan...true enuff !!
 

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I won't be too disappointed if it's only a select few allowed to do the cull and neither should you boys.
I mean come on is it really hunting.
More like shooting someone's pet no challenge no scouting and pretty much a sure thing. We hunt because we enjoy the chase
 

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I won't be too disappointed if it's only a select few allowed to do the cull and neither should you boys.
I mean come on is it really hunting.
More like shooting someone's pet no challenge no scouting and pretty much a sure thing. We hunt because we enjoy the chase
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. Yep your kind of subdivision hunting
 
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