If you’ve noticed a large contingent of deer within Outlook town limits in the last month or so, you’re certainly not alone.
Lately, it seems as if the four-legged cousins of Dancer, Prancer, Rudolph and the gang have made their presence much more felt in recent weeks, coming much further into Outlook than usual. The deer have been seen in groups near the REMAX Shoreline Realty building, as well as crossing Saskatchewan Avenue to the Reid Motors property. It isn’t often that they’ve been seen so close to Outlook’s downtown business corridor.
Though the closer interaction with wildlife has made for an interesting sight, the deer’s presence is not something to be too concerned about. The province’s Ministry of Environment provided this reporter with some helpful insight into the behavior of deer at this time of the year.
“Deer will sometimes seek shelter in urban areas to escape high snow depths or severe weather, as has been experienced in some areas of the province this year,” the information reads, provided to The Outlook via email. “It is not unusual for deer to be seen within the community of Outlook as they live in the river valley year-round, which is within the town limits. Typically, most of the animals remain in the regional park and golf course but this year, a few more than normal have moved into residential areas, attracted by less snow and easy food sources, like bird feeders and shrubs. Deer are also commonly sighted within Conquest, with more this year for the same reasons. The ministry has not received any complaints about deer from either community recently.
Urban deer can become a problem by damaging gardens, shrubs and trees as they become accustomed to humans. Urban deer may also escape hunting and predators, both of which normally help regulate populations. The Ministry of Environment recommends residents reduce potential attractants by placing bird feeders or any other potential supplemental feed out of reach of deer. Fencing is the most effective permanent method to prevent deer feeding in unwanted areas.”
So, when it comes to this robust infusion of deer in Outlook, treat them as you would any other citizen – with respect, dignity, and of course during these COVID times, a safe social distance.