It’s possible that 100 mule deer could soon be moved out of Kimberley, as part of the City’s most recent application for an operational translocation.
Kimberley City Council approved a motion on Monday to submit an application to the Fish and Wildlife branch of the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) to translocate up to 100 mule deer from Kimberley in 2019.
The exact cost for moving that many deer has yet to be worked out, however the City is willing to match both grant funding and funding from FLNRORD to make it happen.
Councillor Darryl Oakley explained that the cost for translocation is approximately $680 per animal.
Oakley, who is a board member of the Kimberley Urban Deer Committee, says that at a committee meeting back in June, it was a unanimous vote to try and get the deer population in Kimberley down to just 30.
“On June 25 of this year, the committee met and one of the recommendations that was unanimously approved was to try to get to a much lower density of deer within the City municipal boundaries. Lower density meaning trying to get it down to around 30 animals,” Oakley explained.
He adds that even though the City has been using the committee’s Managing for the Future document, and followed the recommendations of dealing with deer populations of 125 or more, the committee decided that the density within the City limits is still too high.
“Councillor [Kent] Goodwin suggested we try to bring the population down to 30, and that was unanimously agreed upon,” Oakley said.
“This is our first opportunity to make a significant dent in deer populations since we abandoned culling some years ago, and that we don’t know next year if the money will be available from the government, so I suggest we apply for the maximum amount of funding that we need to remove 100 mule deer,” Goodwin said.
He adds that finding extra money in the City’s budget is an option.
“This could get us down to a level where the problem becomes much more manageable in the future. If we keep tinkering with it and don’t make a significant impact we’ll have bigger costs down the road,” said Goodwin.
Mayor Don McCormick agreed, saying that this is the next big step moving forward.
“In 2012 we culled about 100 deer and we didn’t have another problem with deer for about four years. We had a four year reprieve,” McCormick explained. “We have found, based on our own experience, it has a major impact on the issue. Translocation is the evolution of this.”
Council agreed to contract Vast Resources to send in the application to FLNRORD, and will deliberate on exact costs at a future meeting.