At the last meeting of the Grand Forks deer committee the city and conservation officers acted swiftly in response to citizens’ deer complaints. A group of five community residents came to the committee meeting to raise the alarm over the deer in City Park. Their complaints were heard, and by the end of the meeting council and the conservation officer had a plan to respond.
“We just couldn’t take it anymore,” said Rosita Carlyle. “We used to enjoy our walks around City Park with our small dog Stubbs, but the deer were making it impossible. Someone had to take action!”
Carlyle, her husband and the rest of the group, said that they had been attacked repeatedly by a “mad deer.” It would start with the deer chasing their small dog, but when the dog hid behind them, the deer continued its pursuit mindless of the people.
“It was really scary, it’s like the deer didn’t even see us!” said Carlyle. The mad deer, nicknamed Chucky by the residents, has been attacking people on and off for over four months. “I can’t wait until the dog park is in place so I can be safe walking my dog,” continued Carlyle.
Conservation Officer Jis Shu Tum, on loan from Penticton for two months while the local officer is on training, said that deer can be very aggressive, particularly around fawning season. He’s not surprised that the urban deer are becoming habituated to humans.
“It’s common for animals that are around people a lot to start treating them like just another animal,” said Shu Tum. “In cases like this one it is almost impossible to cure the problem. We have very few options with aggressive, habituated deer.”
City council’s response was decisive. Working with Shu Tum, council has approved use of firearms in City Park. City works crews will be closing City Park on Apr. 1 from 6:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. to allow the conservation officer and volunteer hunters to search for and destroy Chucky.
“We didn’t want to see this happen,” said Mayor Brian Taylor. “I’m sorry it has come to this, but its clear there is no way to avoid it.”
Don’t be fooled, on Apr. 1 the deer hunt will begin.