New Brunswick

Deer cull proposed for Kennebecasis Valley

Municipal leaders in the Kennebecasis Valley are scheduled to meet with the Department of Natural Resources Thursday morning to discuss details of a possible bowhunt to cull nuisance deer.

Rothesay, Quispamsis, Hampton asked to consult property owners about locations for a bowhunt

Municipal politicians from Rothesay to Hampton say the deer population is out of control and they're looking for help from the province.

Former Natural Resources biologist Rod Cumberland says archery may be the best way to control the deer population in the Kennebecasis Valley. (CBC)
There have been several hundred collisions between deer and vehicles in the Kennebecasis Valley, said Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop, adding that homeowners are complaining that it's difficult to grow a vegetable or flower garden.

"We either have to be content to live with them or do something about it," Bishop said.

Retired government biologist Rod Cumberland says bow hunting may be the best way to bring the deer population under control.

"Archery is very humane, it's very quiet. And it's very effective," said Cumberland.

Urban deer removal is very different from the typical image of a hunter with a high-powered rifle out in the middle of the woods, said Cumberland.

"Your goal is to harvest as many as you can in an area, and take them out of there to reduce the amount of damage that they're causing," he said.

Cumberland added he raised this issue years ago and made recommendations.

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop said decisions about a cull are outside town council's area of expertise.

Deer are damaging gardens and colliding with hundreds of cars in the Kennebecasis Valley, according to Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop. (Courtesy of the KV Regional Deer Committee)
"Whether you can use guns, bows, how far you should be from different houses, the size of the area and so on, that's all regulated through the Department of Natural Resources. It has nothing to do with the municipality," he said.

The Department of Natural Resources has proposed offering permits to property owners who want to cull the deer.

DNR has asked each community to talk to landowners and come up with an approved list of places where deer can be killed.

The details of the management plan are expected to be discussed at a meeting on Thursday morning.