By Nicole Trigg
While a deer being killed in ones yard is a gory episode that no one wants to have to witness or deal with, it is a fact of life living in a rural area thats located on the doorstop of a huge tract of wilderness. But the challenges that dead carcasses and, for instance, rural health care and restricted shopping hours, pose are just one side of a double-edged sword.
The favourable consequences of not living in a densely populated urban centre are why the valley has homeowners and visitors to begin with.
Locals who have lived in the valley a long time can recall when deer sightings within district limits were a rarity. Not so anymore. The last deer count conducted on November 29th came to a total of 165 within District of Invermere boundaries. The community threw its weight behind a deer cull in the referendum last year, and one is in the works for 2015 with a cap of 30 deer.
Last week, The Pioneer reported how the Columbia Valley Rod and Gun Club has offered to relocate any urban deer living in Invermere. Club president Rick Hoar pointed out that it seems ridiculous to kill deer when the number of mule beyond the towns limits has dropped dramatically. The correlation of numbers in the wilderness dropping as urban numbers increase infers that deer are smarter than we think. In times of climate change and habitat loss, staying close to human settlement guarantees more food and less predators.
Not an infallible plan, however, as the Jones story demonstrates, particularly in the wintertime when the frozen lake faciliates wildlife (ie. predator) travel. At least this carcass was the result of a natural death, and not another poaching incident. A coyote or cougar creeping through the neighbourhood seems like the lesser of two evils.