Dear Editor:

I am one of “those people” opposed to the deer cull. Typical of some consumptive users, Bill Dubois implies that my attitude toward wildlife is invalid. I am one of the majority that loves deer as they are. We feel an affinity with individual animals, a reverence for nature and an abhorrence of cruelty.  

The government (MFLNRO) has abdicated responsibility by permitting unqualified politicians and municipal employees to “manage” wildlife. This management involves inhumane killing that is gruesome and unnecessary.   

The justification for culling has evolved and dwindled to a vague, unscientific notion of reducing complaints. Deer are “urban” and no longer know “how to live outside the town boundaries”. The translocation report states, however, “None of the translocated Invermere deer generated complaints, and all exhibited migratory behaviour.” In my review of bylaw reports, there are few complaints.  Does Invermere really have the most dangerous deer in BC?

In fact, Invermere has a stable population as measured unscientifically, once each year, over the last 11 years. The count takes place after deer return to town to achieve the highest number. Adequate browse, habitat and corridors determine carrying capacity and when individuals disappear, others arrive. DOI decided that the arbitrary, maximum number of deer is 100.   DOI is killing is in the public works yard and just north of Sobeys – my neighbourhood. 

This is what is “irrational” — killing animals to decrease a stable population, ineffectively, using a method proven inhumane, while ignoring government advice on non-lethal methods to avoid and reduce conflict with non-dangerous wildlife.

Al Miller and current council did not “have the courage to pass a motion”. Puzzled, readers should know that slaughter is operational – equal to filling a pothole, with no vote taken. I am still waiting for one council member who promised “humane alternatives” and “complete transparency” to speak up. 

Most ludicrous and puzzling, in the Dubois Invermere “wildlife management” scenario, is this. DOI has “unlimited expansion” and “overpopulation” and needs to “control the deer numbers” to ensure the “survival of our wildlife”. DOI slaughtered 21 last year and is killing up to thirty this year – as mule deer numbers decline and chronic wasting disease is imminent. 

The sustainable, ethical, rational way to deal with deer conflict is education, messaging to increase tolerance, enforcement of bylaws and in this time of our increased appreciation for our relationship with nature, kindness.

Charles Lamphier,