Thunder Bay

Councillor wants deer feeding ban exemption

A city councillor in Thunder Bay wants changes to the new deer by-law.

Would give school kids opportunity to feed deer on Mission and McKellar Islands

Feeding deer on Mission and McKellar Islands should be exempt from the Thunder Bay's current ban on feeding the animals within city limits, a councillor says. Jeff Walters/CBC

A city councillor in Thunder Bay wants changes to the new deer by-law.

Larry Hebert said people should be allowed to feed deer on both McKellar and Mission Islands, even though it's illegal to feed deer or other wildlife anywhere in the city of Thunder Bay.

A conviction could bring a fine of up to $5,000.

Hebert said he wants to allow the feeding of deer on private property on Mission and McKellar Islands for a one year trial — an idea he borrowed from school-age children.

"They like the opportunity to go over and feed the deer," Hebert said. "If we have a controlled area like that [and] it's not that busy traffic-wise, that may be the spot to do it."

Hebert said landowners would have let the public know it's OK to feed deer on their property by posting signs.

He added he hopes the city can also find a way to control the deer population on the islands — though he said he’s not sure how that would be done. Hunting the animals wouldn’t be an option, he said, and noted that consulting with the Ministry of Natural Resources and local veterinarians would be a good idea.

Another option would be "the use of hormones so that the deer population doesn't get out of hand," he said.

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