WATCH: Conservation officers in Comox are hoping for similar results to Nanaimo where deer poaching has been reduced by 98 per cent. Dean Stoltz has more.
With a large urban deer population in Comox and past incidents of poaching, conservation officers took their anti-poaching project to Comox Tuesday.
“Most of the incidents we’ve investigated is people shooting deer, larger bucks so thereafter, the antlers,” said Conservation Officer Stuart Bates.
Deer are plentiful at the Comox Golf Course so officers were hoping to tranquilize several deer, then tag them and put tracking devices on them.
“If we find a good candidate we’ll tranquilize it and as the team approaches, we will insert some hidden tracking devices,” said Bates. “Some of them will be collars and some of them won’t. But if they have a collar or not they’ll have a hidden tracking device and that can be in the animal or in the antlers.”
An officer soon shoots a tranquilizer dart into the rear end of a buck.
They give the deer some space as it wandered off into Vicky Biddle’s backyard.
“It was rather startling,” she said. “I first heard the fellow say excuse me and then I saw a deer laying down and I asked if he killed him.”
She was told it was only tranquilized and they were trying to catch poachers.
“Oh I’m for it [the program]. I don’t want anyone to hurt the deer there just lovely animals.” added Biddle.
The team then moved in and put the tracking device on the animal.
They were done in a few minutes and after injecting another drug to bring it out of its tranquilized the state, the deer got up and walked away.
“And if it were to be poached we would know about it,” said Bates. “This is what you call a mature buck, not really a trophy buck but someone would be tempted by him so now if someone were to harvest him we would know.”
The project has reduced poaching in Nanaimo by 98%. They’re hoping for similar results in Comox.