Fair argument for deer cull

Despite what some people may claim, the sight of a deer in Oak Bay in the ‘50s and ‘60s, especially South Oak Bay, was extremely rare

I have been amused and sometimes frustrated following the back and forth arguments of car vs. deer and cull vs. keep, in our local Oak Bay News. Many of the arguments are emotionally charged and illogical in their appeal. These are the ones I find frustrating and should not sway our opinion on what should be done.

I was raised in Oak Bay and am glad to be back here in my “home” community. Despite what some people may claim, the sight of a deer in Oak Bay in the ‘50s and ‘60s, especially South Oak Bay, was extremely rare if ever. I never saw a deer in Oak Bay until I returned in 2001.

Previously, it was argued that humans are superior. A silly argument – unless you mean more intelligent, i.e. rational. Another will say that deer should be removed because “they eat my roses” etc. Yes they do a lot of damage in gardens, public and private, but I doubt Victoria residents would be happy about a cull for this reason alone.

Some have argued that the deer were here first. This is not rational – human communities have displaced habitat since we started grouping together thousands of years ago. Another said that the deer would not be coming to town if humans had not destroyed their habitat. This is pure nonsense. We have not destroyed the deer habitat. Ask any hunter. There are more deer in the province now than at any time in the last few generations. Logging has created much richer habitat for the expansion of their population.

Wild populations tend to expand into all available, safe and viable environments. I believe there are more deer in our city now, for the most part, because there are no predators or animals to harass them. As a boy, we put our dog out in the morning and brought him in before dinner. He was too small to chase deer, but others in our neighborhood could. Our urban deer have become much more emboldened by our giving them a protected status.

People think deer are beautiful and friendly. Deer are beautiful. What a special treat to see them – in the wild. They are not friendly – they are wild. Anthropomorphizing human emotions onto deer does not inform the difficult decisions that have to be made.

My point is that the deer are wild animals and do not belong in a city.

Culling by car is hardly a civilized way to reduce their population. Eventually a person will die, perhaps a nighttime jogger. I wish there was another way to have the deer in the wild where they belong other than by a cull.

They must go, and the CRD and municipalities must do the difficult thing in the most humane way possible.

Mark Ambery

Oak Bay


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