Stop studying deer problem and and start doing something about it

The busy public foot path on Henderson Lane has seen several near-miss serious accidents with frightened deer pelting along it.

I am appalled at the Capital Regional District and the municipalities refusal to deal with the urban deer pest population.

Exposing your citizens to deer-carried lyme disease, a serious and debilitating illness, is totally reprehensible. Why are the animals which spread lyme disease allowed to roam our gardens and streets?

Many people face illnesses or chronic conditions that lower their resistance. Municipalities are there to keep our streets and lands safe and clean for our use. You have utterly failed to protect your citizens and their pets by letting deer spread infected feces and lyme diseased ticks in our parks and communities.

Allowing the destruction of our fragile native species in oasis parks, like Uplands in Oak Bay, by damage from concentrated deer populations, gives the lie to all the CRD and municipal noise and pretty pamphlets on their efforts to support native plant species.

As well, we have seen many near accidents with deer, cars and bicyclists, making it clear that at some point we are going to be facing injuries to people.

And not just on the roads. The very busy public foot path on Henderson Lane has seen several near-miss serious accidents with frightened deer pelting along it.

Why are you waiting?

In our own case, as homeowners, it has been a nightmare for us these last three years as deer – up to four at a time, destroy our cherished trees, plants and vegetables, in our front and back gardens.

In the front, we have had to deer proof our fruit trees and plants into three big swathes of netting which are still under constant attack – which leaves bits of netting floating out to catch in your feet or glasses, precipitating trips and falls.

While in the back garden, which is fully netted around our boundary, we now have to have a second set of barriers inside those barriers. Nothing stops the deer – they put their heads down and rip the outside netting or pull it down from its seven-foot height and jump over it.

The deer have destroyed our garden and native plants and eaten all (thousands) of the seedling Garry Oaks we used to give away. They have  made it impossible to grow vegetables.

We have spent more than $700 trying to keep them out and nothing works.

When we want to go into our own back garden – which is invaded on average twice a week – we first search out the window, and then going out, pick up a rake for protection and search around carefully for deer, to avoid provoking an attack on ourselves. When we startle hidden deer they bolt wildly or threaten us, especially when they are protecting does. This is not what we had in mind when we created a wild garden habitat in our back garden.

I know that some householders, especially those with dogs do not have the problems we have, and don’t understand how awful it is to live under siege like this.

Surely the goals of protecting human and pet health, growing one’s own fruit and vegetables, feeling safe in your community, and nourishing a viable, workable natural garden are important goals for everyone. It is what the communities within the CRD promote – they just don’t do it.

Terri Hunter

Oak Bay


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