Owner Email
Feedback on the upcoming SI Eradication Vote

Date: February 14, 2023 at 8:46:45 PM PST

To all concerned in the upcoming Eradication Vote on March 2

I am a recent purchaser of a lot on Sidney Island (April 2022). Recently I took part in the January hunt on the island. I had a few thoughts on the upcoming vote.

After spending six days on the Island I saw a total of 10 deer – only 4 in the daylight hours. I covered all six areas and the Airport stand area. The hunt was conducted professionally and little expense except to individual islanders. Overall disruption during the six days was minimal. Very few shots fired ( less than a dozen when I was there ). I felt extremely privileged to take part in a coordinated hunting experience that very few people anywhere can do in the present day – save those people on Sidney Island. This on an island with no apex predators and a small healthy deer population free of diseases such as chronic wasting disease that has been found in some deer in other parts of North America.

I should mention that I took part in the hunt as an observer with no firearm having brought a family guest to take part in the experience. Given the stories that I had heard from the past of abundant numbers of fallow deer I was surprised to experience the actual lack of the same deer. In all the areas. Nevertheless hunting was the perfect way to become acquainted with all the trails and corners of the island, something that would have taken me much longer to complete on my own. The surroundings were quiet and serene and the way the week was planned by the SI hunting committee was totally logical and safe.

Conversely, the disruption caused by the eradication process is likely to be considerable to everyone on the island for lengthy periods of time. Their plan entails – Helicopter noise, fencing, dogs for herding ( SI owners need to have their own dogs leashed with a high vis vest ), arrangements have to be made with the Safety Officers during operations to move around on the island, prior permission to use the airfield, frequent notices of eradication operations subject to change for a variety of conditions conducted between Nov 2023 – March 2024 and Oct 2024 – March 2025. All this over the course of two winters at the cost through Parks Canada ( taxpayers ) of up to $20,000 per animal. Given the apparent drop in historical numbers, it seems the existing hunting program is doing a more than adequate job of controlling the problem of deer population control for free even as the island regenerates. If this eradication is successful, Sidney Island will still be beautiful, but it will eliminate for good an element of this island that is unique in British Columbia

Oh, and one other thought. As a newcomer I am more than impressed how well the island is run through the strata and with the overall tightness of the community. Parks Canada has their park. Having them running around the rest of Sidney Island may not be a great idea in the long run. Just saying.

— Frank Robson, Lot 78