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In 2017 a City of Dryden Deer Committee was created to look at past and current concerns and try to address some possible solutions.
Recently Spokesperson Erin Trist spoke with council about the committee and to share the results of their recent survey. Deer populations are not a new concern Trist began; In 2012 Dryden Police Services Inspector Glenister (retired) acknowledged the increase in the deer population within the City of Dryden over the years prior.
He explained how the City is zoned in the Firearms By-law with Zone 1 being the former Town of Dryden where the discharge of firearms is not allowed and Zone 2 being the former Township of Barclay where firearms may be discharged except in a few areas.
The size of the property owned determines the type of firearm allowed to be used. He provided concerns about opening up Zone 1 to hunting and compared Dryden’s current by-laws to the new one implemented in Kenora.
He offered practical solutions such as educating the public about the current by-laws and that hunting is allowed in certain areas of Dryden, reminding people not to feed the wildlife and to plant flowers that don’t attract deer.
In six years not a lot has changed on the deer front. The Dryden Deer Committee released a survey recently to gauge feelings and knowledge of current deer by-laws. Close to 600 residents replied to the survey that was both online and found in hard
copies at the Library and Fitness Centre.
The first question on the survey stated, “Do you believe there is a problem with urban deer in Dryden?” with 76% respondents saying yes.
The second question asked: “Would you like the urban deer population in Dryden reduced?” with 72% saying yes.
Third: “Are you aware that a bylaw currently exists to hunt on certain sized property within the City of Dryden limits?” with 56% saying yes they were aware.
Fourth: “Do you believe that the City of Dryden Council should be responsible for addressing the urban deer concerns?” with 71% saying yes they are.
The fifth question asked: “Do you want the urban deer removed from the City of Dryden?” with 65% responding yes.
Question six asked: “Are you willing to use tax dollars to address any identified urban deer concerns?” with a near split of 51% saying yes.
The next question asked: “What is your main concern regarding the urban deer population in Dryden?” The main concerns were destruction of property and deer as a traffic hazard.
Question eight on the survey asked: “Are you aware of citizens that feed deer in the city?” with 60% responding yes.
Question nine asked: “Would you report someone illegally feeding deer within the city?” which had another close response of 51% saying yes.
Finally the survey asked: “Would you be willing to appear as a witness in court should someone be charged wit feeding deer?” with 67% saying they would not.
The committee reminded everyone that they should not feed deer and they are encouraged to plant species that deer don’t eat.
The committee recommended to council that deer education should be promoted to help with residence awareness of wildlife within the city and will use the city’s w
ebsite, social media and public notices to be promote to the public. They also advised to do a feeding wildlife by-law enforcement blitz as well as setting up a pumpkin compost drive similar to the Christmas tree drive that is held annually.