Benefits and Disadvantages of Continuing Current Deer Management Option

Response to the February 19, 2022 Newsletter question:

“How will your deer control strategy satisfy the majority of the owners? How would you describe the primary benefits and the disadvantages of your strategy? “

The only realistic and responsible way to satisfy the majority of Sidney Island owners, is to:

1) Ensure the continued restoration of the Island’s flora.

2) Recognize the rights of those who wish to continue to hunt fallow deer for sustenance purposes.

3) Recognize that deer have their own interests and deserve moral consideration.

4) Recognize that deer add to the aesthetic beauty of the Island and to its biodiversity.

These interests are not mutually exclusive and can be reconciled by:

1) ensuring restoration continues by relying on our excellent volunteers.

2) Continuing a deer management regime that ensures the number of deer remains small and stable. We know this is possible because Islanders have been doing it for the past 5 years.

The primary benefit of this approach is that it satisfies all interests. It is also the least risky option. Helicopter hunting, dog teams and translocation of black tail deer are intrinsically dangerous and will bring disrepute to Sidney Island.

Common sense mitigates against removing a healthy herd and replacing it with one that that may contain hemorrhagic disease.

The primary disadvantage is that restoration may take place at a slower pace.
But let’s remember restoration is a process not an end point. Restoration is dependent on many variables including Climate change. The truth is we do not know what restoration will look like.

— Robin Bassett