The Truro Deer Management Working Group completed the second Controlled Managed Hunt in December 2022, as work continued on the implementation of the Town's Deer Management Strategy, which Truro Town Council approved in 2021.
The first Controlled Managed Hunt took place in January/February 2022, where a total of 14 deer were harvested.
The second hunt was built on the best practices developed throughout the first year of the program. The first year was considered a pilot year to ensure the hunt could be carried out successfully, with strict control measures and with public safety the paramount consideration. With the first hunt a success, the Town expanded the second hunt program to include additional sites and hunters.
The second hunt also saw strengthened partnerships with the Province, Millbrook First Nation, Feed Nova Scotia, and Dalhousie University.
The Town's Deer Management Working Group operates the program on as little waste as possible. Similar to the first hunt, the Working Group partnered with Feed Nova Scotia to have all meat harvested through the program donated to food banks throughout Nova Scotia. All hides were also donated to Millbrook First Nation as part of the program, and other parts of the animal are used for Provincial and National research purposes.
For the second hunt, the Town expanded its partnership with Millbrook First Nation. Millbrook managed one of the hunt sites and conducted a land-based learning program at this site 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 second hunt ran from mid-November until the end of December. In the end, 39 deer were harvested, providing over 5,000 servings of meat to families in need across Nova Scotia.
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 and learn about the efforts of the Working Group.