N.S. town permits bow hunting to fight urban deer dilemma
To combat a growing urban deer population, the town of Truro, N.S. will be allowing hunting within its boundaries as of Monday.
Only bows and crossbows will be permitted for the hunt, which has been limited to portions of the town’s sprawling watershed area.
“We wanted to see what effect that may have on the urban population of deer,” Truro’s Chief Administrative Officer, Michael Dolter, told CTV Atlantic.
Hunting won’t be allowed in built-up areas, Dolter added, and signs will be posted in areas where hunting is permitted.
All potential hunters will also be required to be properly licensed and receive permission from the town.
“We’ve taken measures to protect residents,” Dolter said. “We’ve actually set buffers that are well above what would be required by Natural Resources.”
In a survey last year, the town’s population was almost equally divided on whether or not they considered the deer a nuisance.
Yolanda Cleaves, for example, has enjoyed seeing deer in her yard since moving to Truro last year. She doesn’t think the expanded hunting zone will help with the overpopulation problem, and she believes that more needs to be done to stop people from feeding the animals.
“I think it’s actually going to have a negative effect,” Cleaves said. “I’m worried it’s going to draw the deer into town, therefore causing accidents.”
Dolter calls the hunt the first step in an ongoing process to manage the town’s deer population. Once the hunting season closes in December, the town will then use information gathered from the hunt to help determine what course of action will be taken next.
“It’s not really a mini cull because, again, we haven’t hired anybody to do a cull for us,” Dolter said. “We’ve just allowed licensed hunters to use the area to hunt.”
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh