Gore Bay resident seeks First Nation deer cull deer on property

A flower munching deer pauses on the steps of the Gore Bay Court House.

GORE BAY—A Gore Bay resident says he is going to look into whether First Nations are still interested in being allowed to harvest some of the large number of deer on his property in town.

“I’m going to contact some local Indigenous people to see if they are still interested in harvesting the deer,” stated George Purvis, a Gore Bay resident, late last week. “At the back of my house in town I own a large portion of land (about 14 acres).”

“It is quite a large area, and I’m interested in seeing if local Indigenous people are interested in harvesting some of the deer, using a bow. There are a lot of deer on my property,” said Mr. Purvis. “The deer are cute but I’d rather see some of the deer gone. I don’t know how many thousands of dollars I’ve spent to have trees and a garden established on my property that the deer have ruined. I had a 15 foot cedar hedge on my property and the deer destroyed it.”

“I even had five blue spruce trees that they ruined last year; they hadn’t touched them the previous 10 years,” said Mr. Purvis. “The deer will eat anything. I can’t grow a garden or trees on my own property.”

Mr. Purvis noted that every year he has an Easter egg hunt on his property for his grandchildren. However, this year, “we decided we couldn’t put Easter eggs out because of all the deer poop everywhere.”

“The town has a bylaw in place for people to not feed deer, and one for not discharging firearms in town-shooting deer,” said Mr. Purvis. “These same restrictions and enforcement of the bylaw should be in place for people feeding the deer.”

As reported earlier this fall in the Recorder, a Zhiibaahaasing First Nation band councillor and resident had proposed what he feels may be a simple solution to the problem of how to curtail a current over population of deer in the town of Gore Bay. Kevin Mossip, of Zhiibaahaasing, told the Recorder earlier, “I feel there might be a simple solution to this deer problem.”

Mr. Mossip explained, “First Nations in this treaty area have the right to harvest deer all year on Crown land. On private land we require the landowners consent. With a landowner consent form we (First Nations) could harvest the nuisance deer and donate all the meat to local Island food banks so everyone can benefit. We can even grind up the meat to give to the Island foodbanks.”

Mr. Mossip noted as well that while any bylaws the town has in place that bans hunting and the discharge of firearms in town would have to put this aside for a short period of time for a controlled hunt to take place.

Mr. Purvis said he will be talking First Nations persons on the issue and whether there is interest to be brought in to harvest some of the deer, using a bow. “I have about 15 deer on my property right now, and this number increases every year.”

Mr. Purvis said the situation has gotten so serious with deer ruining gardens, eating trees and flowers that, “I heard a story from one lady who said a deer had gone up on her front steps and ate the wreath off the door of her house.”