With the increase in deer populations in and around Swift Current, keeping an extra eye out for them is important.
The Ministry of Environment encourages folks to keep their distance, respect the wildlife in town, and slow down when they see them on the shoulder or off the road.
"Saskatchewan towns and cities contain ample green spaces that are attractive to wildlife, making wildlife management in urban areas a challenge," said a Ministry of Environment statement. "Animals can move many kilometres to areas that provide cover and food in winter."
This migration into populated areas is called 'wintering.' This behaviour sees them seeking shelter in areas with ample food and cover. City parks, golf courses, and even some yards are the exact kind of environment that they tend to seek out.
The lack of predators is a big appeal for deer, pronghorns, and other critters in the city. While they are typically skittish around people, they can become friendly if offered food, which is problematic. When they become used to being fed, they can become dependent instead of foraging their feed. This is harmful because they become unable to survive independently, which is far from the intended helpfulness of many kind residents just trying to feed these creatures.
"The best way to limit conflict with wildlife in urban areas is to manage food attractants, including intentional feeding, or unsecured garbage or compost, pet food or bird feeders," The Ministry clarrified. "Fencing deer out is the most effective and permanent method."
Quite a wide selection of fencing is available for managing deer and wildlife. It can even be effective to fence off individual plants with wire cages.
Scare devices are also an effective solution for deterring wildlife. Artificial noise makers, honking horns, and motion-activated high-pitch devices are all commonly available.
"Dog barking can also be an extremely effective wildlife deterrent, though it is important to keep dogs leashed and under control around wildlife."
If anyone would like to help contribute to direct efforts to manage wildlife, they can do so through the Fish and Wildlife Fund.