Hungry deer are roaming all over the Elk Valley looking for tasty snacks like flowers, and residents of the Districts of Elkford and Sparwood and the City of Fernie are wondering whether the deer are becoming too much.
The deer problem in Elkford has escalated to the point where people are unable to plant flowers in their yards, and deer are becoming aggressive when protecting their young.
At the May 9, Fernie City Council meeting City Councillor Mary Giuliano asked about the possibility of harvesting the deer that are plaguing the City of Fernie.
City of Fernie Mayor Cindy Corrigan said that the provincial government has a fairly strict process for dealing with the deer problem.
A survey, like the one recently completed by the District of Sparwood, would be required to start taking steps towards a potential harvest.
Cllr. Giuliano asked whether conservation officers would be able to administer a harvest, but Mayor Corrigan said that a harvest is not part of their mandate.
Director of Corporate Administrative Services Lisa Talavia-Spencer is working with conservation officer Frank de Boon to inform residents about deer attractants.
The City of Fernie is working on resources to residents to keep the problem from growing to the extent seen in other communities like Kimberley and Cranbrook.
A deer committee was formed in Kimberley to address it’s deer problem, and it suggested a restricted hunt.
In 2007 the City amended its Waste Regulation Bylaw to include a prohibition restricting residents from accumulating, placing, storing or collecting any wildlife attractants.
The City defines wildlife attractants as antifreeze, paint, petroleum products, food products, food waste, decaying matter and other accessible edible products or waste that attracts wildlife.