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Watershed bow hunt did little to decrease Truro's deer population

Deer are often seen within Truro's town limits. These three have been spending a fair bit of time in the Victoria and King streets area.
Deer are often seen within Truro's town limits. These three have been spending a fair bit of time in the Victoria and King streets area. - file photo

TRURO, N.S.

Early results from this fall’s bow-hunting exercise in the Town of Truro’s watershed area indicate it did little to reduce the town’s growing deer population.

“Two (hunters) were successful in getting a deer,” said Joel Dawe, acting director of the town’s Parks Recreation and Culture Department. “Thirty five weren’t.”

That was based on the response of 37 of the 54 hunters who registered for the hunt, Dawe said.

The town decided to allow bow hunting in the watershed area as a way to try to cut down on the deer population, which has become a nuisance for many home owners, complaining about the animals destroying their plants and gardens.

Concerns have also been expressed by motorists because of the potential for vehicle collisions with deer, along with increased fears of people contracting tick-borne Lyme disease.

A survey conducted earlier this year indicated the urban deer population was at least double the rest of Deer Management Zone 107, which includes South Colchester and East Hants.

But based on results of a basic survey conducted with the hunters, that over population does not seem to have spread into the watershed area.

“We had a number that scouted it out and didn’t see enough sign or whatever,” Dawe said.

A number of hunters also felt the area where bow hunting was permitted was too far away from the downtown areas where the deer have drifted into.

Dawe said 26 of the 37 hunters who participated in the survey spent less than five hours hunting in the watershed while the other 14 spent “considerably” more time there.

The town will be consulting with the Department of Lands and Forestry to determine whether the watershed hunt will continue in future years.

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