At the regular meeting July 19, Town Council approved the Deer and Wildlife Feeding and Attractants Bylaw (28-21) to regulate the intentional and unintentional feeding of deer and other wildlife on private property.
“This bylaw will help to lessen the impact of urban deer on private property where intentional and unintentional feeding has caused deer to become habituated and unresponsive to current deer-deterrent measures,” said Deputy Mayor Florence Christophers.
The bylaw specifies that residents should not feed, attempt to, or permit the feeding of deer or other wildlife, either directly or indirectly, by leaving or placing feed/attractants on or near their property. Residents are still welcome to grow fruits and vegetables for human consumption as well as ornamental plants and flowers.
As part of the bylaw, wildlife attractants should not be stored, handled or disposed of in a way that deer or other wildlife can access them. Bird feeders continue to be allowed as long as the contents are not accessible to other wildlife like deer.
While the Town will focus on educating residents about the new bylaw, penalties have been established for non-compliance with fines from $250 to $1,000.
This bylaw reflects the recommendations from the Urban Deer Task Force to expand the restrictions for deer feeding to include private properties, as well as on public areas.
This bylaw, coupled with the deer fencing pilot project approved in April this year, is intended to help reduce human-wildlife conflicts and improve the enjoyment of private property.
Click the button below to review bylaw.
For urban deer information and deterrent tips, visit www.okotoks.ca/urban-deer.