New Brunswick Increases Antlerless Deer Permits

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Hunters will be able to harvest one-third more antlerless deer in the Greater Saint John area this fall to help ease an overpopulation of deer, Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles said.

The number of antlerless deer permits in Wildlife Management Zone 23 will be increased to 1,500 this fall from 1,000 last year. The zone extends from Saint John to Fundy National Park and includes the Kingston Peninsula and Kennebecasis Valley areas.

"This increase will address concerns raised by a number of communities where deer have become increasingly prevalent and which has led to a growing number of conflicts between deer and humans,'" said Stiles. "Reducing the number of breeding female deer will have an immediate and ongoing impact on the size of the deer herd in this area."

Department staff have been working with communities in the Greater Saint John area to address the growing number of deer in urban areas and the problems this can create, including deer-vehicle collisions. Stiles said the increase in antlerless deer permits was recommended by big game biologists and wildlife managers based on scientific evidence.

"The deer herd in the Greater Saint John has expanded in recent years and has now reached a level where deer are having difficulty obtaining sufficient food and habitat,'" he said. "This is one reason why they are moving into urban communities where gardens, trees and shrubs become menu items."

Stiles said hunting is just part of the solution to addressing conflicts between deer and people in urban areas.

"We need everyone to do their part," he said. "For example, we ask people not to feed deer and to take precautions such as slowing down at night in areas where large numbers of deer are known to live."

The application period to apply for antlerless deer permits begins June 14 for New Brunswickers who participate in the archery and gun hunting seasons. Those seasons are held in October and November.