Deer count coming, committee to work on fine structure
It’s time for the deer count again and Grand Forks councillor Gary Smith is hoping to have a good turnout.
The count is on Nov. 10 at 6 a.m. and lasts up to 1 1/2 hours. After that, the group meets for a free breakfast, which is compensation for the volunteer work. The deer committee will hold their meeting after breakfast.
The committee has several issues to discuss at their coming meeting the main one being a fine structure for people who feed the deer.
Wayne Kopan is now the city’s bylaw enforcement officer. Technically he can enforce the bylaw that makes it illegal to feed the city deer, however, there isn’t currently a ticketing bylaw that enforces complaints.
In order to make that happen, the committee has to come up with a recomendation for council. Once council has the recommendation, it will be heard at their committee of the whole meeting and one or two of their regular council meetings before being passed. Smith estimates it could two or three months for a ticketing bylaw to pass.
Once a ticketing system — likely a fine structure — is in place, residents can file a written complaint at city hall if they see someone feeding the deer. Smith says it’s even better if people can attach pictures to the complaint. It will then be passed on to Kopan who can investigate the situation and write tickets accordingly.
Smith said he understands the desire to interact with wildlife but that residents are exasperating the problem by feeding and petting the deer.
“Bambi’s are cute. There is no mistaking that,” he said. “But they aren’t pets. It’s better to leave wildlife wild.”
He also said that the deer committee is a public committee and that anyone can attend and listen to the meetings. They don’t need to make a committment to join.
Last spring the deer committee counted 135 deer in the city during their seasonal count.