Cranbrook, BC (March 29, 2017) – 15 deer were removed from the City of Cranbrook this winter, following the municipality’s fifth deer population management program. Operations began Tuesday January 3, 2017 with setup and baiting of clover traps and concluded on Wednesday February 8, 2017, after 20 total trapping days.
A wildlife permit was issued to the City on November 18, 2016 by the Ministry of Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) and was valid from December 1, 2016 to March 15, 2017 allowing for a total of up to 100 animals to be removed. Of the animals removed, 13 were mule deer and two were white-tail.
Nearly 807 lbs. of meat has been distributed to a number of local organizations to be used for human consumption. All meat preparation was conducted by a qualified butcher and processed in a facility inspected and approved by both Interior Health and MFLNRO.
The City targeted very specific areas of the community, based on public complaints received in 2016 along with results of the urban deer population count conducted back in November. The results of that count were 142 deer – the highest number of deer counted since counting began in 2010, compared to 137 deer in 2015. The lowest number of deer counted was 96 in November 2012. The locations of the clover traps were determined by the City based on all of this data along with complaints received by the provincial toll-free Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line and priority areas identified by the local Conservation Officer Service.
The program was completed under the approved $46,108 budget at $13,308.00 or $550 per animal, which included all labour, supplies, training, mileage and processing costs. This also includes the costs around releasing white-tail deer, which were not the target of the program.
The City faced two significant challenges with this year’s program: the huge volume of snow through January and early February and unexpected health issues which caused the City to lose butcher services.
The City of Cranbrook remains committed to continuing to manage the urban deer population through a combination of population reduction and public education. The City continues to work hard to meet the expectations of residents around urban deer management in the community and appreciates the patience and understanding of the public as this important work continues.