South Baymouth resident upset with perceived lack of action from MNRF on Manitoulin deer situation

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SOUTH BAYMOUTH—South Baymouth resident Bob Lewis is fed up with what he feels has been a lack of action taken by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to help the deer herds on Manitoulin Island this winter. 

He acknowledges he is feeding deer and that many others in the community are doing the same as well. “I had 28 deer in my front yard this morning and more are coming in. I’ve seen does fall down. They are in such bad shape. And what is the MNRF doing? Absolutely nothing. And we have wolves and coyotes in town that are killing the deer, even down near the (Chi-Cheemaun) ferry docks.”

“As hunters, we pay for our MNRF deer hunt licences every year and the MNRF is supposed to be providing deer and moose management, but they are doing nothing,” said Mr. Lewis. “There is a 5,000-man MNRF fire crew who are at home in the winter doing nothing. Why not bring some of them here to help the deer by cutting down browse, using excavators to limb trees for deer feed and clearing out snowmobile trails down here. Instead, nothing is being done.”

“Why is the MNRF not here to help the deer? They should be doing something…they (deer) are being allowed to die,” stated Mr. Lewis. “I have a bunch of fawns that come to my driveway every day looking for food, that look like they’ve been through a meat grinder, because they’re malnourished.”

“Yes, a lot of people are feeding them here, we have to. Some of these deer can barely stand up,” said Mr. Lewis. “They are in my driveway every day looking for food.”

“And the coyotes are pushing the deer into town,” said Mr. Lewis. He noted a neighbour who is a farmer has had a dead cow in the middle of his field for a few weeks now and it hasn’t been touched by coyotes or wolves. “That is because they can get at the deer in town,” he said.

“It is disgraceful what is happening to the deer, and the MNRF is doing nothing to help them,” added Mr. Lewis.