I have to thank all those who have written in defence of their view about Oak Bay’s troublesome deer issue. I do take issue with those who only see that these animals have always been here and we should make allowances for them. They are indeed beautiful and innocent.
They have not been living within city limits for any of the 50 years I have been here, except for the last few. Indeed, the depredations in my garden do leave me very unhappy. They are the prime reason most people are weary of their presence. Yes, we can slow down and be more attentive on the road. Yes, we could plant inedible plants. We could even have feeding stations stocked with their favourite grub in more remote positions away from traffic. We could have community fencing projects with government subsidies to protect our gardens. We could do any of these things.
In the end though, we still have to manage them so their un-predated numbers allow for a healthy herd, if indeed we are all willing to foster their continued life within the community. I don’t believe many would welcome predators in our midst to do this job. In nature there is always a balance between predator and prey, and these animals would be culled by predation. Never a “beautiful” sight there either.
As it is, the only solution for many is a fence. The fencing companies are doing a booming business right now. For myself, it would be really nice to actually have a vegetable garden once again. So I would welcome a less self-righteous attitude about innocence and beauty versus practicality and viability. As one writer to the daily paper said, “we have to become the predator” in the absence of the real thing. So I do not decry the impending cull, only the moral high ground claimed by some.