Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ONTARIO NEWS: Deer Population Grows, Longer Season Pondered

Bambi beware.

The Ministry of Natural Resources wants to expand the fall deer hunt season to control the exploding deer population.

In the past decade, herd numbers have increased by as much as 25 per cent in some areas, most notably southwestern Ontario.

Deer are thriving "for a whole bunch of reasons. More favourable winters, habitat changes – old farm fields growing back into young forests – those are just a few," said Christie Curley, a wildlife policy adviser with the ministry.

More deer have meant more road collisions and crop losses. So the ministry wants to have 22 new hunting regions as well as longer hunting periods, said Curley.

"For example, an area that has a two-day season is being expanded to seven days" while one-week seasons would double, Curley said.

But environmental organizations are crying foul.

Annamaria Valastro with the anti-hunting group Peaceful Parks Coalition said she doubts the change will have any effect. "The deer population is not the problem. The hunting population is declining."

Peaceful Parks has petitioned Premier Dalton McGuinty, to halt a proposed cull of whitetail deer in Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

Curley agrees that while Ontario hunter numbers in general have declined, the exact reverse is true of deer hunters.

Ranks of deer hunters have been steadily increasing for the past decade, she said.

Even so, taxidermist Manuel Jan showed muted enthusiasm when told the deer season may be expanding.

At a time when his business should be booming, Jan's little shop, the Mountain Lion Taxidermy Studio on Broadview Ave. just north of Danforth, is struggling.

"It won't increase business.""Nobody wants to spend the money," he said.

"There used to be 45 of us in downtown Toronto, now it's only me.

"You want to go hunting, you have to spend money. It's a luxury. Driving is expensive. The equipment is expensive," he said.

"I used to do 15 to 25 (deer heads) a year. Now it's six or seven."

Source: The Star


Aaron Wright said...

This is probably true
I found 3 deer in my own backyard, which is unusual

Anonymous said...

Peaceful Parks isn't a credible organization, it's just a one-person extremist environmental group.