Oh deer! Four-legged animals are causing big problems in Saint Andrews

Click to play video: 'Saint John officials calling for plan to deal with growing deer population' Saint John officials calling for plan to deal with growing deer population
WATCH: Deer aren’t only a nuisance, but concerns from officials are also being raised from a business, health and safety perspective. Andrew Cromwell has more – Aug 9, 2019

Officials in the town of Saint Andrews are hoping a plan will be put in place in the coming weeks to deal with the growing deer population in the community.

Some estimate at least 200 deer are in the small southwestern New Brunswick community. They aren’t only considered a nuisance, concerns are also being raised from a business and health and safety perspective.

“It’s become critical,” said Tim Henderson of the popular Saint Andrews tourist destination Kingsbrae Garden.”These deer have to be dealt with.”

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Henderson says Kingsbrae recently invested $50,000 in eight-foot deer fencing around the sizeable property. This, he says, after losing an estimate $100,000 in historic shrubs and perennials to deer over one winter.

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Still, he says, deer still find their way in.

He says it’s not only the nuisance and cost of losing plants. There have been collisions with cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and others. “We’ve had them crash through the [Kingsbrae] cafe windows and upset tables,” he said. “Once it was just before 50 people were in there for a lunch.”

While the deer issue itself falls within local and provincial jurisdiction, the local MP who lives in the town has been active when it comes to public health and concerns with deer and the spread of Lyme disease.

“We give out tick kits,” said NB Southwest MP Karen Ludwig. “We give out tick pullers; we work closely with our local veterinarians.”

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John Richmond owns land in the town and says there are definitely too many deer around. “You can’t walk through these woods without wearing long pants and socks because of the ticks and those are a definite concern,” he said.

Henderson, meanwhile, says the situation is also unhealthy for the deer themselves.

“I mean, the deer are going to be starving in the streets,” he said. “If you look around, these deer, they’re not healthy deer and I think it would be doing the deer population a favour to get them back where they belong — back into the woods.”

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A full page ad was taken out this week in the provincial newspaper outlining the concerns.

Local and provincial officials met this past week, according to the Department of Energy and Resource Development, and a spokesperson says the province will continue to work with the community on the matter.

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