Oak Bay spent $16,000 to kill 11 deer in 2015

Protection society calls to suspend bolt-gun culling programs and allow for research of non-lethal methods

Killing deer in the Capital Region isn’t the solution to managing their population or resolving conflicts, says new report.

In May 2016, Animal Alliance of Canada, a member of the BC Deer Protection Society (BCDPS), commissioned McCrory Wildlife Services to conduct an independent review of urban deer culls in five B.C. municipalities: Oak BayCranbrookInvermereKimberley, and Elkford.

“The report is striking in its findings: lack of long-term effectiveness of culls, lack of reliable data and scientific information,” said Barry MacKay, Director, Animal Alliance and spokesperson, BCDPS. “The culls are about killing deer, not resolving conflicts.”


Part of the cull controversy is use of  the “clover trap/bolt gun killing method” in city limits, public parks and golf courses where firearms and crossbows are restricted. The method works like this:

  1. The animal is lured into a cage-like trap
  2. An attendant collapses the trap on the animal to restrain it
  3. The animal is shot in the head with a bolt gun (a device that thrusts a metal rod with a blast of compressed air, typically used to kill livestock)

“Given the significant costs to taxpayers, local and provincial governments should want a cost efficient and effective conflict resolution program” said Liz White, Director, Animal Alliance and spokesperson, BCDPS. “For example, Oak Bay spent $16,000 to kill 11 deer.”

According to long-time Kootenay wildlife biologist Wayne McCrory, lead author of the report, “We found that culling either through expensive lethal methods or non-lethal translocations of deer from certain communities had some short-term benefits but deer numbers rebounded fairly quickly because of their naturally good reproductive rates and from other deer simply moving in from the outside.”

For more information, read the full report: https://www.animalalliance.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/report-24-Aug2017-final-DeerCullTechReport-2-mccrory.pdf 

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