St. Andrews deer problem may require new bylaw
Mayor says he supports holding a public meeting on town's deer problem
Some St. Andrews residents are appealing to the town's council for a stronger bylaw that would allow them to protect their backyard gardens from deer that are wandering around the southwestern community.
Deer roaming around the town is nothing new for people living in St. Andrews, but the growing number of animals is starting to create problems for residents and businesses.
John Castell said he spent more than $400 building a two-metre fence around his garden but that didn't stop a couple of deer from getting in helping themselves to his vegetables.
"Some of us have seen 10 to 14 [deer] in our backyard at a time but we need a good database on what the population is and we need a good dialogue involving everyone in town, not just gardeners," Castell said.
But homeowners are not the only ones who are growing tired of the four-legged visitors.
Andreas Haun, the general manager of Kingsbrae Gardens, said the deer are hurting tourist attractions.
"Once they nip that central bud, which is nice juicy food for them, it doesn't bloom again. And in a garden situation that's literally the product that we sell, is people seeing the blossoms," Haun said.
Public meeting considered
The town’s mayor said the council is open to suggestions on how to deal with the deer problem.
Mayor Stan Choptiany said part of the long-term solution is educating the people on how to deter the deer from coming around their homes.
"It has to be a town-wide effort to not feed them and that's a difficult process to get the education going," the mayor said.
Choptiany said town council is open to holding public meetings about the deer problem.
The idea of holding a public forum on the deer issue is being welcomed by Castell. He said he agrees the deer issue needs a community solution.
"I don't know what the solution is, but the first important step is that we, the people of the town, need to have a town-wide dialogue," Castell said.
"We need input from everyone so that the decision is something supported by all the people in town, not just the gardeners, like me, that get frustrated by the deer eating our vegetables because I know there are people that feed the deer like they are not supposed to."
For now, Castell said he’d like to see a bylaw change that would allow him to put up a stronger fence year-round to protect his gardens from deer.