Day or night sightings of deer prompt Yarmouth to seek solutions

Yarmouth County.  Gil Dares says it's commonplace to see deer in his garden.  (Submitted by Gil Dares - photo credit)

Yarmouth County. Gil Dares says it’s commonplace to see deer in his garden. (Submitted by Gil Dares – photo credit)

When Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood comes home from work each evening, she usually has a group of six to eight four-legged visitors waiting for her.

“When it’s dark I have to turn on the light because sometimes I open my door and they kind of scurry by on the sidewalk and scare me to death,” she said. “I jumped about 10 feet [three metres] more times than I can count.”

The deer population has exploded in the southwestern city of Nova Scotia. Officials are now looking for concrete numbers and developing a plan to do something about the problem.

count. Gil Dares chairs the working group on deer management. He moved to Yarmouth about 40 years ago and said it’s rare to see deer in the town.

“And now you can see deer any time of the day or night,” he said.

Submitted by Gil Dares

Submitted by Gil Dares

The first step is to get an accurate count of the animals, Dares said. One option is to count their pellets, but that has limitations.

“There are very few areas where this would be a successful way of determining how many deer are in the area because you just can’t walk through people’s backyards and over their fences,” he said.

For that reason, Dares said, other options are being considered, such as using a thermal imaging device. But he warned the cost could be prohibitive.

Using trail cameras is another possibility, Dares said.

The committee also plans to send out a survey so residents can provide information about sightings and voice their concerns, he said.

“We’ve already lost a life,” says the mayor

Mood said a motorcyclist died a few years ago after crashing into a deer.

“We’ve already lost a life, that’s one life too many,” she said.

In addition to the numbers, Dares said the city is preparing a report examining the pros and cons of various options, such as: B. the translocation or culling of the deer, said Dares.

It also works with the Department of Natural Resources, from which it needs approval before taking any action.

The Truro Approach

Dares warned that there is no quick fix, citing Truro, NS as an example.

Concerns about the deer population there date back at least a decade. But it wasn’t until last year that culls took place. Truro Mayor Bill Mills said 41 deer have been killed and another hunt is planned for this fall.

For now, Dares is urging people not to approach or feed the deer.

Mills agrees with this advice.

“The big problem with controlling growth is well-meaning people stop feeding the deer,” he wrote in an email to CBC News.



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