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Urban Deer Management

Urban Deer Management

The Town of Truro has been working with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables and the citizens of Truro since 2017 to build a strategy to help control the urban deer population in the Town. In early 2021, the Town of Truro formed the Deer Management Working Group to develop a Deer Management Strategy for the Town. The Town’s Deer Management Strategy is an important step toward providing a clear and coordinated approach to deer control within the Town of Truro.

Town Council approved the Deer Management Strategy in September 2021. At that time Council also approved proceeding with an Implementation Plan for a Controlled Managed Hunt to take place within the Town of Truro. A Controlled Managed Hunt was considered to be the most favourable population reduction method, in terms of effectiveness, feasibility, public cost, capacity and time to implement.

The first Controlled Managed Hunt took place in the Winter of 2022. Annual hunts have taken place since this time and are part of the overall Deer Management Strategy. 

The Controlled Managed Hunt program includes partnerships with the Province of Nova Scotia (Department of Natural Resources and Renewables), Millbrook First Nation, Feed Nova Scotia, and Dalhousie University.

The Controlled Managed Hunt program operates on as little waste as possible. Each year, the Town partners with Feed Nova Scotia to have all meat harvested through the program donated to food banks throughout Nova Scotia. All hides are donated to Millbrook First Nation as part of the program, and other parts of the animal are used for Provincial and National research purposes.

Millbrook First Nation also manages select hunt sites and conducts land-based learning programs for community youth and other members to help preserve knowledge related to ethical harvesting and the processing of deer. The program focused on demonstrating proper field dressing, removing a deer from the forest, and tanning of deer hides.

The purpose of the Town's Deer Management Strategy is to reduce the deer population numbers within the Town of Truro for the benefit of natural ecosystems, and citizen landscapes, reducing Deer-Vehicle Collisions (DVC's), public health concerns, the possible presence of deer predators, and an overall reduction of deer human conflict. While residents will need to learn to live with deer long-term, there are several measures that people can take to assist with deer management efforts in Truro and help to bring the urban deer population within a manageable number. The most important management tool for residents is to stop the feeding of deer within and around the Town. 

The approved Deer Management Strategy sets overall goals for mitigating deer-human conflicts and highlights all elements of deer management throughout the Town. This includes management options at the individual level, public education options, as well as population reduction options. Individuals are encouraged to focus on measures on their own individual properties, and the Town will focus on public education and population reduction measures (with oversight and guidance from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables).

Residents are encouraged to visit Urban Deer Management to read the Town's Deer Management Strategy and learn more about the efforts of the Working Group.