FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) is reminding residents to not feed deer as this causes issues for public safety and becomes a major issue for the deer’s health.
The BCCOS has received multiple reports in the Peace area of individuals feeding deer which encourages deer to congregate and stay in the urban environment shares Conservation Officer Tristan Montjoy.
With the exposure and desensitizing to humans, these deer become habituated and food-conditioned to people which makes them lose their natural response behaviours to predators which can lead to conflict between humans and the deer.
Sometimes habituated deer can act aggressively in some cases towards pets and humans, especially in cases where a Doe and fawn might be present. Creating risks to humans within the urban environment.
Another issue with deer in urban environments is the damage they can cause to private property by eating ornamental trees, garden and lawns.
The other concern voiced by Montjoy is that deer are prey species so congregating in an urban area is likely to attract predators to the same environment. By having positive encounters with pets, especially dogs the deer cannot differentiate between coyotes and wolves.
With deer being fed items that are not natural to their diet or their environment this can lead to malnourishment and nutrient deficiencies which is not ideal for these animals, as well as the increase of transmitting diseases as these deer are in a concentrated area.
BCCOS knows feeding deer is not illegal yet they encourage you to be mindful to clean your yard of food sources to discourage the deer from foraging.
Deer are healthiest in their natural environment.
If you have a concern with a deer and your property call the RAPP line at; Call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network