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Deer cull proves popular option in Cranbrook

The results are in. Both Cranbrook residents and those outside the city are in favour of continued deer management, including culls, according to the results of the recently tabulated Deer Resident Survey. The results were presented at Monday night's council meeting.

Cranbrook respondents were overwhelmingly in support of the city undertaking further culls to control and manage the deer population, with 70 per cent (642) in favour and 30 per cent (276) not in favour.

Mayor Wayne Stetski said the results are interesting because the out-of-town results match quite closely to the Cranbrook residents' results.

"The non-locals, in terms of support for the cull question, was 66.4 per cent," Stetski noted. "The results are actually fairly similar on all the questions between the Cranbrook residents and non-residents, with a great deal of variety in terms of the opinions and comments that accompany the report for sure."

The city received 1,628 surveys and deemed 929 local submissions because they came from Cranbrook IP addresses, while 681 were deemed to be out of town. In 2010, when the last survey was conducted, the city received 1,429 surveys by comparison.

Of those not in favour of a cull, the respondents favoured capture and relocation, as well as no action. Hazing, fertility control and repellents were third, fourth and fifth choices.

Coun. Diana J. Scott said the recent incidents of cougars around town spurred on some worries on the survey.

“One thing I noticed that was talked about a lot more this time than the last time we did the survey was the worry about predators following the deer into town,” Scott said, adding that based on the results of the survey, council’s on the right track in terms of deer management.

She said in the past people have been worried more about damage to their gardens and lawns, but now there is more of a focus on safety of children and pets.

Cranbrook respondents were also in favour, by 70 per cent (639), of increasing the city budget by $15,000 to carry out the deer management options, including a cull.

Interestingly, only 7 per cent (64) of respondents from Cranbrook found the city’s past two culls to be successful, with another 49 per cent (452) calling them somewhat successful and 44 per cent (400) calling them unsuccessful.

The report will be forwarded to the Urban Deer Management Advisory Committee.

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