People in Thunder Bay who think the deer population is getting out of control will get a chance to have their say. The city has called a public meeting for later this week.
Ron Bourret, manager of Thunder Bay’s Licensing and Enforcement department, is interested in hearing what people think about the situation. He noted there is an average of one-and-a-half traffic accidents each day involving a deer.
"Should we be creating a bylaw which makes it an offence to feed deer ?" he asked.
"Some people are feeding the deer, and in those areas close to roads and highways those deer accumulate and result in vehicle accidents."
Bourret said another option is to allow a deer hunt in selected areas of the city. The public meeting takes place Oct.20, 6-9 p.m., at the Waverley Library. For more information about the meeting, phone 807-625-2644, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of September, OPP advise drivers on Thunder Bay area highways to keep a sharp eye for animals. Over a two-day period, they investigated seven incidents in which vehicles collided with a deer or a bear.
Mid-September, bow hunters in Kenora are given the green light to kill deer for a trial period within city limits, starting in October. Kenora Council approved a bylaw to allow bow-hunting south of the Highway 17 A bypass route. The trial period ends Nov. 15. Hunting can only take place on Crown land or on private property of five hectares or more, with the property owner’s permission. Kenora's high deer population has led to collisions with vehicles and wolf sightings in the city.
End of July, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters asks for a bylaw change to allow some hunting within Thunder Bay city limits to help solve the city's deer problem. Spokesperson Glen Rivard said the public shouldn't be worried about bows and arrows in city parks. He said their proposal would only allow hunting on private property, and a set distance from homes.
Around that same time, Thunder Bay city councillor Lynda Rydholm’s request for a report on what to do about the deer in the city was approved by council. The report, which is expected come back to council in November, will provide an assessment of the deer situation and make recommendations on how to control the deer.