Re: Sidney Spit closed to allow fallow deer hunt, PNR Friday, Nov. 21.
Let me preface my comments by saying that I am not a deer hunter although I do have a few deer roaming my property that I would like to see less frequently.
If I understand the writer correctly:
1. The fallow deer being hunted on Sidney Island are not the traditional game of the Coastal Salish First Nations.
2. The deer were originally imported to James Island 112 years ago by a non-native hunting club.
3. The deer would try to populate Sidney Island on their own, but couldn’t settle due to lack of fresh water.
4. Some enterprising non-native hunters dug wells in the 1960s and 1970s to encourage the deer population and presumably create a hunting opportunity on the island.
5. As a result, the deer population grew to the extent that periodic culling has been necessary to minimize ecological damage to the island.
I find that I can’t ignore the irony in that non-natives who created the hunting habitat are not permitted to hunt, yet Coastal Salish First Nations, who never hunted them in the first place, can. Why can’t this be an opportunity shared by First Nations and non-native people alike?
Steve Heddle, North Saanich