Dear Editor:

Is it possible that someone, probably a child, could be seriously injured or even killed by a deer in Invermere?Yes, it is.Is it true that the deer cause substantial property loss to many residents in Invermere?Yes, they do, and many of those same residents spend hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars trying to protect their property.Do the deer (as prey) attract predators such as coyotes, bears and cougars into Invermere and do those same predators create a public safety concern? Yes, and of course they do. But is that the only issue, or even the main issue here?No, I dont believe it is.

If we truly care about the deer, we will manage the deer and unfortunately sometimes that means we must get rid of some of them.

Good wildlife management involves managing populations and not just individuals.Yes, that means some individuals will die, but it also means future populations will not have to suffer.

It doesnt take an expert to see that the deer in Invermere are overpopulated and in very poor physical condition.If they are lucky, they will be hit by a vehicle or killed by a predator because that death will only take a relatively short period of time.

If they are less fortunate, they will starve to death, which will take a few weeks or even a few months, and dont think that this is not already occurring.However,if we are all less fortunate, the deer in Invermerewillcontract a disease that could, and probably would, affect the entire ungulate population in the entire valley.If you really want to see suffering, just watch an animal die from Chronic Wasting Disease like they are in overpopulated areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

So, to those in solidarity against deer slaughter, please educate yourselves and do the deerpopulationa favour by managing all of them, not just individuals.Sorry, but that is the reality of the situation. Now you must decide which is more humane.

Stan Markham

Retired Conservation Officer