Deer dog Grand Forks residents -- in Canada
Most Americans concede that Canada has a snappier national anthem, prettier money and sweeter maple syrup. Here's something else to add to the list: braver white-tailed deer. It does, anyway, if you compare apples to apples or Grand Forkses to Gr...
Most Americans concede that Canada has a snappier national anthem, prettier money and sweeter maple syrup.
Here's something else to add to the list: braver white-tailed deer.
It does, anyway, if you compare apples to apples or Grand Forkses to Grand Forkses.
British Columbia's Grand Forks has an estimated 350 deer in town, almost one for every 10 residents. In one year, 200 deer were killed within the city limits, mostly by vehicles, prompting speculation that auto body shop owners were breeding the critters. Residents pay more for car insurance because of it.
It's no better this year. It's a national story now that hockey season is over.
In contrast, North Dakota's Grand Forks has had one deer fatality this year, when a small doe crashed through an apartment window in June. Local animal warden Jean Youshefski knows of only one other wayward deer, which was downtown after apparently veering off the Greenway.
This doesn't count deer who inevitably wander into yards on the city's fringes to nibble on apples, birdseed and gardens at dusk. They are timid enough -- or smart enough -- to stay off the streets.
"Now that the weather is turning hot, you can expect more coming into town," Youshefski said. "They're mostly looking for shade.
"We encourage people along the Greenway to empty out their bird feeders during certain times of the year, like now. Sunflower seeds -- they just love them."
So, Grand Forks' urban deer are mostly harmless, hungry tourists. They're not looking to play bumper tag.
Fargo, Bismarck and Bemidji are among deer-troubled locales that allow some hunting within city limits. Grand Forks doesn't.
Grand Forks, B.C., isn't quite ready to pull the trigger on allowing the pulling of triggers, either. Mayor Brian Taylor admits to a quandary.
"Birth control is not going to work," he told CBC News a year ago. "Relocation is too costly. Shooting the deer? Nah, we'd get such a public outcry."
But this month, he's changed his tune. Now, he's in favor of culling the herd and selling the meat.
Hmm, fewer deer and a balanced budget. Sounds like a winning re-election strategy.
Reach Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 125; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .