As a long time Oak Bay resident with “on the ground” experience with the deer issue, any decisions made to address the problem should have their basis in fact rather than emotion.
Opponents of the deer cull appear to believe that we should all be able to peacefully coexist, as we have “encroached on their natural habitat” and that the various problems associated with having these animals living among us, which are many and significant, is a small price to pay in the big picture.
In reality, their natural habitat would contain their natural predators, cougars and wolves. These would keep numbers in reasonable balance with the environment.
We have however, maintained a lush salad bar as an abundant food supply for them and diligently removed all the predators to protect ourselves, our kids and pets.
The result is an unbalanced situation that is absolutely unsustainable. I don’t blame the deer for taking advantage of the situation, but this is not their natural habitat.
If nothing is done, the resulting population increase will be staggering and the fallout will, I believe, shock even the opponents of a cull.
The mayor and council have done an admirable job dealing with this controversial issue; the silent majority are fed up and want a realistic solution, not well intentioned platitudes about all living together in harmony.
I believe that the SpayVac option should definitely be pursued, but in the interim, a cull would appear to be the only realistic option. It could likely be made more humane by tranquilizing the deer prior to any euthanizing.
The status quo however, is clearly not an option.