The Capital Regional District, in collaboration with municipalities, electoral areas, provincial wildlife authorities, stakeholders and farmers developed a management strategy to reduce human-deer conflicts in rural and urban areas.

The CRD Board accepted the report on the urban and rural regional deer management pilot projects in November 2015. No additional requests for assistance were received from municipalities, and additional services at the regional level were not required at this time.

Project Chronology

November 2015

Deer Count Results

Oak Bay

  • Deer counts were conducted over three weeks in late October and early November.
  • Counts were conducted by paid counters from the University of Victoria, Camosun College, Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society and the CRD.
  • All the streets in Oak Bay were driven. Each route was alternately driven in each direction. The Victoria Golf Club was counted using optics (binoculars/spotting scope) and a golf cart. Four dawn and dusk counts were completed.
  • Provincial staff interpret results for a driving count by considering the highest count of all the repetitions as the overall result. The high count was 55 deer. Of those, 14 were counted on the Victoria Golf Club. The overall count is equivalent to finding one deer every two kilometers.
  • Most animals appeared to be in good condition with few injuries observed.
  • More females than males were observed: approximately 60% female and 40% male.
  • As the count was completed using a different methodology than in 2014, the results are not comparable. The exact location of the deer varied from one count to the next.

Central Saanich

  • Deer counts were conducted over three weeks in late October and early November to complete Regional Deer Management Urban and Rural Pilot Projects.
  • Counts were conducted using scopes from high points or spotlights at night from moving vehicles. Routes were driven at dusk. Locations were counted in the same order each time.
  • The province interprets count results for spotting scope and driving/spotlight by considering the highest of all repetitions as the overall result.
  • The highest scope count was 20 deer and the highest spotlight count was 25 deer. In 2014 the highest scope was 22 deer and the highest spotlight count was 37 deer. Technically, these two counts are not comparable because they took place at different times of year.

August 2015

CRD Board Limits CRD Deer Management Role

At the August 12, 2015 meeting of the Capital Regional District Board the recommendations of the Planning and Protective Services Committee were accepted. Staff were directed to:

  • Continue to manage wildlife services, as necessary, at an operational level by various line departments, and not establish an ongoing service for deer.
  • Report back to the Board with recommendations regarding an ongoing consolidated wildlife management service once each division has reported out on their wildlife management activities to their respective Committees and obtained feedback as to whether there is an ongoing need for each service.

May 2015

Concluding Recommendations

To conclude the Deer Management Strategy Pilot Project, a Staff Report on the project activities was received by the CRD Board on May 13, 2015. The Board endorsed the recommendations to refer the report to the Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee to consider whether an ongoing deer or wildlife management service should be established.

Urban Pilot Project

After implementing the deer/human conflict reduction, public education and deer-vehicle collision mitigation recommendations such as signage and low speed limits, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations issued a permit to the District of Oak Bay to capture and euthanize up to 25 black-tailed deer within Oak Bay borders. In total, 11 deer were harvested and given to the First Nations on whose Traditional Territory Oak Bay resides. Read more >>

Rural Pilot Project

The majority of work on the rural pilot project was done in the Fall of 2013 including public education relating to conflict reduction (brochure distribution) and deer-vehicle collision mitigation (additional road side brushing and signage). Thirty-five farms were contacted for one-on-one meetings and 16 visits were conducted to assess crop damage and discuss deer management tools. Packages were distributed to provide information on fencing requirements, constructing effective fencing and completing municipal permit and provincial nuisance wildlife permit forms.

Public Education

The CRD will continue in its commitment to public education across the region on all aspects of the Regional Deer Management Strategy. Two information brochures are available, providing general information (PDF) and conflict reduction (PDF) measures.

March 2015

Public Submissions

October 20, 2014- March 3, 2015

There are no out of region submissions at this time.

September 2014

Public Submissions

May 1- September 30

There are no out of region submissions at this time.

August 2014

At the August 13, 2014 CRD Board meeting, the Board supported the July 23 PTPS committee recommendation that the CRD extend support for implementation of the RDMS pilot project to March 2015, with funding from internal reserves.

June 2014

Update on Regional Deer Management Strategy implementation.

March 2014

Public Submissions January 1 - March 31

No out of region submissions at this time.

February 2014

Update on Regional Deer Management Strategy implementation.

December 2013

Public Submissions November 13 - December 31

September 2013

Public Submissions May 23 - September 30

No out of region submissions for this time period

July 2013

Update report on Regional Deer Management Strategy implementation

The July 24, 2013 staff report to Planning, Transportation & Protective Services Committee provided an update on urban and rural implementation of the Regional Deer Management Strategy, with a focus on building community partnerships. The Terms of Reference for implementation are under development prior to being submitted for municipal consideration.

Public education materials have been drafted and will be further refined with the assistance of municipalities before being distributed.

May 2013

Progress report on Regional Deer Management Strategy implementation

Public Submissions

The May 22 staff report to the Planning Transportation & Protective Services Committee outlined the progress made in implementing the RDMS with our municipal partners in rural and urban areas. The focus on the Peninsula municipalities continues in order to mitigate the impact of deer on agriculture.

A pilot project is planned, to be completed in both a rural and an urban area. The details of the project approach are under development.

Public Submissions February 29 - May 22

February 2013

Update report on Regional Deer Management Strategy

Public Submissions

The February 27 staff report to the Planning Transportation & Protective Services Committee outlined the progress of the municipal, regional and provincial levels of government in implementing the RDMS.

Public Submissions December 12 - February 28

December 2012

  • CRD Board Adopts Regional Deer Management Strategy
  • Public Submissions

On December 12, 2012, the CRD Board supported the recommendations in staff report PPS/RP 2012-37. The recommendation is as follows:

  1. Adopt the framework for a Regional Deer Management Strategy set out in the attachments to Report No PPS/RP 2012-37
  2. Authorize staff to share the report with municipalities to gain concurrence as well as cooperation to implement the management measures within their jurisdiction; and
  3. Approve the additional budget necessary to support the proposed CRD role in implementing a regional deer management strategy in 2013.

Staff level meetings will be held with the Peninsula Municipalities (including Saanich) first regarding the report information. Presentations to Councils will follow to outline the potential implementation of management measures at the local level.

Public Submissions November 28 - December 11

November 2012

Citizens Advisory Group Recommendations Referred to CRD Board

Public Submissions

The Regional Deer Management Strategy (RDMS) recommended by the Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) was discussed by the CRD Planning, Transportation & Protective Services Committee (PT&PSC), which directed staff to bring the report forward to the Board at their regular meeting on December 12, 2012. Public delegations had an opportunity to speak to Committee.

The PT&PSC recommended that the November staff report be circulated to municipalities for feedback for feedback regarding their willingness to implement measures under their jurisdiction. In addition, the report outlines what the ongoing role of the region could be if the Board adopts the proposed framework.

Staff Report Summary

Under prior direction of the PT&PSC, CRD staff convened a meeting among inter-jurisdictional partners on October 3, 2012. Staff representatives from CRD municipalities and Electoral Areas, and Provincial government (Federal government and First Nations were unable to attend) met to determine what it would take to implement the CAG recommendations and to then report back to the PT&PSC. Input on the CAG’s recommendations is detailed in the November 28, 2012 staff report and attachments and is summarized as follows:

Recommended options are separated into those with potential to be implemented and those that are considered impractical or unfeasible (mainly due to public safety and resourcing). For those that have potential, next steps of different levels of government and actions required to begin implementation are identified. In the case of population control measures, provincial approval is required but conflict reduction measures need to be in place prior to qualifying for such approval. Conflict reduction measures are largely within the jurisdiction of local governments.

Public Submissions September 4 - November 27

September 2012

The Citizens Advisory Group recommendations were received for information at the PT&PSC special meeting on September 5, 2012. The Committee would like to thank the Citizens Advisory Group and the Expert Resource Working Group for their dedicated effort and voluntary time spent preparing their recommendations.

A Staff Report on the CAGs recommendations was also submitted to the PT&PSC at the September 5 meeting:

The following motion was passed by the PT&PSC:

MOVED by Director Derman, SECONDED by Director Blackwell,

  1. That the Citizens Advisory Group and the Expert Resource Working Group be thanked for their dedicated effort and voluntary time spent preparing the Regional Deer Management Strategy; and
  2. That the Regional Deer Management Strategy be received for information and that Regional Planning staff be directed to convene staff representatives from CRD municipalities, electoral areas, the Provincial and Federal governments and First Nations to determine how to partner on implementing the recommended management options.
  3. That Regional Planning staff report back to Committee this fall.


Delegations to PT&PSC Meeting

Requests to address the special PT&PSC meeting on Sept. 19, 2012 regarding the CAG's recommendations could not be accepted as the recommendations were not an item on the agenda. (CRD Board Procedures Bylaw 3708, Part 3, Section 12 (1): a Committee may, by resolution, allow delegations to address a meeting on the subject of an agenda item).

August 2012

Citizens Advisory Group meetings & public submissions

Submissions: August 28 - September 4

CAG meeting, August 27

Submissions: August 24 - 27

CAG meeting, August 23

Submissions: August 9 - 23

CAG meeting, August 8

The CAG added two more Management Options - Status Quo and Crop Protection. Feedback closed August 8, with results as follows:

Submissions: August 2 - 8

CAG meeting, August 1

Feedback on the fourth set of Management Options - Capture and Relocate & Repellents, closed August 1, with results as follows:

Submissions: July 25 - August 1

July 2012

CAG meeting, July 24

Feedback on the third set of Management Options - Public Education, Controlled Public Hunt, Professional Sharpshooting, Immunocontraceptives and Deer-Vehicle Collision Mitigation - closed July 24 with responses as follows:

Submissions: July 19 - 24

A letter of resignation from two CAG members was received by the CAG Chair on July 8, 2012. The Board appointed Mr. Glenn Jim to the CAG on July 19, 2012.

CAG meeting, July 18

Feedback on the CAG’s second set of Management Options - Capture & Euthanize - closed July 18 with results as follows:

CAG meeting, July 11

Feedback on the CAG’s first set of Management Options - Hazing & Frightening, Fencing and Landscaping Alternatives closed July 11 with results as follows:

CAG meeting, July 04

June 2012

CAG meeting, June 05

CAG meeting, June 12

CAG meeting, June 19

CAG meeting, June 27

May 2012

CAG meeting, May 16

CAG meeting, May 09