There was no deer cull last year, and there does not appear to be an appetite on City Council for one any time soon. However, anecdotal evidence would suggest that the number of deer in Kimberley is rising again.
Councillor Darryl Oakley, Council representative on the Urban Deer Committee, told Council this week that another deer population count will be conducted in November.
These counts have been taking place for the past couple of years, coordinated by the Ministry of Environment’s Irene Teske.
Oakley says that not only does Kimberley not want to lose the count by not doing one this year, but the data is important.
Mayor Ron McRae said that he recently spent some time with Deer Committee Chair Gary Glinz talking about the role of the committee and how it may need to be refreshed.
“The City continues to support the efforts of the deer committee,” McRae said. “We are very proud of the educational component taking place.
“However, the question of a cull continues to be there and the new council will need to sink their teeth into the issue.”
McRae also said that not much has happened with the provincial task force on urban deer, promised in 2013, but that he has been speaking with concerned residents, especially in Marysville, about increasing population numbers.
“It’s not going to go off the radar,” he said.
Oakley says the possibility of a tanslocation test project is likely a year away, but an exciting option.
“It would be a research project with various East Kootenay communities involved,” he said. “One of the most important things to monitor would be mortality and where it is occurring. There are so many variables. But it would be a very interesting trial and I hope it happens.”
Oakley says he thinks culling invites potential litigation from animal rights groups, so any alternatives are better.
“The more tools we have, the better,” he said.