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Editorial: Deer at council's table again

opinion editorial stock

Oh, dear.

Nothing fires up a controversy for Town council more than cute, four-legged, literally doe-eyed animals roaming the streets, sidewalks, backyards, front-yards, playgrounds and you name it within the Town of Okotoks.

Okotoks, there’s a deer problem.

Susan Russell, president of the Okotoks Garden Club, went before council on March 8 asking for stronger bylaws preventing people from feeding wild animals as well as permission for extra fencing to prevent deer from getting into backyards so deer aren’t munching down on the gardeners’ hard work.

Obviously, it would be a tough bylaw to figure out. What is a wild animal? Any squirrel worth his or her salted nut can get to a bird feeder it seems.

And let’s face it, the municipal enforcement personnel who continue to do their duties with the complication of a pandemic are already stretched.

It’s not the first time that deer have raised their cute heads at council meeting. There’s been more deer talk in council chambers than at a fish and game banquet.

It’s not a coincidence that cougar sightings in Okotoks have been more frequent. The walking venison makes the Okotoks area an attractive place for the big cats to hang.

As well, ‘Aggressive Deer in Area’ signs seem to be more prevalent every year.

However, Mayor Bill Robertson is right when he claims there are plenty of residents who like the natural feel that deer bring to the community.

Of course, there are others who support anything from sterilization to a cull for the deer.

What most people want is a decision.

Let Okotokians build some small fencing to protect their homes and gardens.

And hopefully, a decision on the deer’s fate won’t have to wait until the release of Bambi IV.