The buck stops here

Oak Bay council looks to take the regional lead on deer overpopulation

A young buck deer takes a break while eating plants in a garden along Lansdowne Road at Larkdowne Road. Oak Bay council wants to take action in crafting a deer control strategy

A young buck deer takes a break while eating plants in a garden along Lansdowne Road at Larkdowne Road. Oak Bay council wants to take action in crafting a deer control strategy

John Herbert was getting ready to make a phone call when a familiar sight caught his eye.

Right there, out the window, in the backyard of his Willows Beach-area home, were a mother deer and her three fawns, happily munching away.

Herbert sighed and headed out to shoo them away for the umpteenth time, knowing it was only a temporary solution to what’s becoming a persistent problem.

The Oak Bay councillor has become increasingly frustrated in recent weeks with the lack of a deer management strategy in the Capital Region. At Monday’s council meeting, he made his frustrations known.

“We need to do something quickly, because a lot of people are getting sick and tired of it,” Herbert said.

There is a feeling in Oak Bay that the animals are increasingly causing problems for residents, he explained. Herbert wants to see the municipality take leadership in putting a regional plan together that will tackle the deer issue once and for all.

Adding to his frustration is the fact the province and Capital Regional District have been batting the problem back and forth for months without making any major progress.

Though the CRD believes it’s the province’s responsibility to deal with deer, the province has said it won’t foot the bill for a task force on the issue. The CRD’s Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee has, in the meantime, asked for more information on the cost of any potential management plans, as well as data from ICBC on how much of a safety issue deer present to drivers.

But progress has been slow. The CRD has yet to form a committee to tackle the problem.

“At this time, there has not been support for the region or the municipal level of government taking this on in a regional way,” said CRD spokesman Andy Orr.

Back in Oak Bay, council members are tired of waiting and want to take action – soon.

“It really does make sense to do something more proactive,” said Coun. Tara Ney.

Taking action will require money, however.

A CRD report released in June estimated that putting together a deer management plan could cost upwards of $225,000, though it is expected about $100,000 of that would come from in-kind contributions from various stakeholders.

As for possible solutions, Herbert suggested relocating the nuisance animals.

“I’m sure we could get a couple of cattle trucks and we could truck them up to the interior and it wouldn’t do any harm,” he said. “They could go back into the forest where they belong.”

Whichever plan is agreed upon, Herbert hopes Oak Bay will be seen as a leader on the deer-control front. He’s certain his neighbours would be thankful.

“My wife and I were visiting friends the other day. I think (my friend) got up four or five times while we were there to go out and chase deer out of his yard.”

Council is expected to look further at the issue at subsequent meetings, while continuing to keep an eye on developments at the CRD level.

In the meantime, Herbert continues to keep his eye on his own backyard.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

O.K. Industries is building a quarry next to Capital Regional District land, as shown in this map from the rezoning applicaiton. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)
Millstream Quarry wins again in court against Highlands community’s appeal

Judges rule province not obligated to investigate climate change before issuing permit

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read