OP/ED: Deer rage - new Grand Forks syndrome

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
October 7th, 2010

Deer are making headlines again – no, not at the UBCM meetings where deer seemed to the be the topic of the day while infrastructure problems and health took a back seat – but now deer have crossed the line to become dangerous animals. Four deer in Marysville were terminated by the conservation officers (CO) because of aggression shown towards women pushing strollers. But it gets even better. My husband witnessed a person kicking a deer that was lying on the road on 68 Avenue today.   He said that the deer didn’t seem to be reacting, but when it finally moved it did not seem to be injured. All I could think of was: why it had not attacked the man kicking it? The Grand Forks breed deer are not usually known to just lie down on the road! So are we calling the CO to take care of the aggressive person kicking the deer? Probably not.   I started this whole deer controversy as a bystander. I truly feel that the headlines that deserve attention do not include deer. Our communities are struggling to keep businesses open, managing to provide proper education for children, and maintaining our constantly threatened social services. Deer eating my flowers is annoying, but not really a priority for news.   But this is out of control. Residents are now so angry they are actually attacking deer?? Just two days ago I witnessed two young children chasing a deer off their yard – which does not have a fence.   Not a big deal, except I was driving and the deer – being threatened – almost ran out in front of my car. Not a great situation for either of us. Thankfully the deer chose to hesitate and I didn’t hit it before it jumped across the road out of harm’s way. But the kids did not stop there. I saw them following the deer across the road continuing to wave a jacket at it.   Now who’s going to get hurt? And then we’ll be calling the CO to take care of it all because of the bad deer!   Children learn from their parents. Are we getting so angry about deer that we are talking ‘deer rage’ in front of children? Where does it stop?   The Mayor may be taking credit and riding high on all the publicity his deer comments have gotten, but now there’s a new community attitude and it is not pretty.   I agree that some kind of management needs to happen, but isn’t it time to put our energy into something else? Keeping deer in the forefront is not helping – I never used to see people attacking deer in our community!

Let’s move on in our attention at the local government and put the ‘deer’ issue where it belongs – as just one of the many things that our city needs to manage. You don’t see national media on trees do you? Maybe then the ‘deer rage’ will lessen. 

Categories: Op/Ed