Thunder Bay residents voice deer hunt concerns

Thunder Bay holds public meeting to get feedback on reducing nuisance deer, including a bow-hunt in city limits

Some residents worry people will accidentally get 'hurt or killed'

In Kenora, a city located more than 400 km northwest of Thunder Bay, a controlled deer hunt is now 21 days old. According to one city councillor, there have been no complaints. (

Thunder Bay residents spoke out Oct. 20 about the city's plans to control the area’s deer population.

The city held a public meeting to get feedback on some ideas for reducing nuisance deer — including a bow-hunt in city limits.

Cheryl Bak, who’s been living in a rural area of town for 50 years, said she doesn't want to see deer hunting allowed in Thunder Bay.

"I know they really think that they've got it all planned out, but I'm sorry is it really worth the risk of one person — a child or adult — getting in the way or just somehow accidentally getting hurt or killed," she said.

'No hunting accidents'

But a representative with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), Glenn Rivard, said hunting in rural areas with restrictions won't pose a threat to public safety.

"In Duluth, they've been doing this for six years I believe, and they've been doing it in core areas of the city, with no hunting accidents," Rivard said.

OFAH has been working with Thunder Bay police to set rules for the proposed hunt.

The city is also recommending fines for people who intentionally feed deer.

Stephen Wiebe, who lives near Castlegreen, in Thunder Bay, said he's concerned about seeing wolves in his neighbourhood.

"The predators in the area are becoming brazen and are following the deer population," he said.

"So if we hunt the deer population and make use of their meat appropriately, it would be good ecologically and it would be good for public safety."

Administration's report goes to council in November.

Controlled hunt in Kenora

Over in Kenora, a city located more than 400 km northwest of Thunder Bay, a controlled deer hunt started 21 days ago.

According to city councillor Sharon Smith, there have been no incidents or complaints. She noted there was some resistance from a few residents, but most people were in favour of the move.  

"We've made it very clear that we will be monitoring this hunt," she said.

"Changing things that don't work, cancelling it if doesn't work," she said.

"So it's going to be up to the hunters and the public to participate in this. We want to hear it all — we want the good, the bad and the ugly."

Kenora's controlled hunt lasts until Nov. 15, after which time council will review the results.