Thunder Bay and Kenora are both grappling with how to properly manage their urban bow hunts to help quell the rising deer population.

After two urban hunts, Kenora’s deer herd continues to expand. Mayor Dave Canfield said the small harvest could be partly blamed on a Ministry of Natural Resources $45 licence fee.

"I hear this from residents quite often," he said.

"They just simply quit hunting because the cost of a deer licence was pretty expensive. You get a small deer and, by the time you get the meat off and debone it, you have about 20 to 25 pounds of meat, which is about 2 bucks a pound."

Voluntary reporting

According to one report from last fall's hunt, 14 deer were taken by nine hunters.

Canfield said there are hundreds of deer in Kenora and he plans to meet with the MNR’s district manager to discuss a lower fee for additional deer tags.

He said Kenora council is also considering reducing the minimum size of properties for the hunt — from 10 acres to five.

Canfield also noted there may be urban hunters in Kenora who didn't report deer they harvested, as reporting is done voluntarily.

The same goes for the deer hunt in Thunder Bay. The city's manager of bylaw enforcement, Ron Bourret, said he only has anecdotal reports about the results of the city’s first-ever harvest.

Council hoped bow hunters would help lower the deer herd, especially in high-traffic, semi-rural areas.

Few complaints

Moving forward, Bourret said the city would like urban hunters to voluntarily register.

"We'll do a follow-up with them and ask them ... [whereabouts] they were hunting, [and]

if they were successful," he said.

"We certainly recognize that council wants some feedback and so do we."

Bourret said there were only three complaints filed about the inaugural hunt and anecdotal reports about the deer harvest, in general, were good.

The manager of bylaw enforcement will be at this weekend’s Central Canada Outdoor show, in Thunder Bay, where he will be giving out information about the urban deer hunt.

Both Thunder Bay and Kenora are planning to go ahead with the deer hunts this fall.