Deer, deer, me…ultimate ignorance.

I need to share with you this entry in The Comox Valley Record’s have your say opinion section (page A22, October 10, 2013) where people spout off about whatever they care to.  “Have an opinion?  Feel strongly about an issue?  Share something special…”  This is the place for you.  So here it is:


Over the past few years we personally experienced a total of four accidents with deer at large on the B.C. highways.  The last one which occurred a few months ago fortunately only damaged our vehicle; however, under slightly different circumstances it would have cause the loss of both of our lives and many others.  For these reasons mentioned I am wondering what other people’s thoughts are about animals that cause severe damage to our vehicles and bodily harm.  When I read about cougars attacking humans, I cringe.  We also know that when apple season arrives we can expect bears at our property as it is on the shopping list.  I don’t know what the total yearly damage is by just deer alone, but what I do know is that our damage over a period of seven years is about $6,800 paid by ICBC.  I am thinking of a large fenced wildlife area, maybe like our provincial park up north.  I know my thoughts are out of the box but not so long ago “No Smoking” was an out-of-the-box issue, too.  Maybe it’s worth thinking about, because some of our loved ones might not be as fortunate as we were.  [All the submissions to this opinion section of the paper are unsigned so we have no idea who wrote this.]


OK.  Well, where do I start?  Before posting this I made sure I wasn’t really reading a piece from The Onion, the satirical online ‘news magazine,’ but no, it was the Comox Valley Record alright. Then I thought, maybe this is thoroughly tongue-in-cheek.  But it just doesn’t ring true as tongue-in-cheek.  It’s too, ah…sincere.  So, what can we make of this absolutely insane piece?  That may be a harsh judgment, but who in their right mind would produce such a piece of utter nonsense?  Does this person have the right to vote?  If so, no wonder our ‘democracy’ is in such terrible shape.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not outraged by this piece.  But I am slightly bemused and amused by it. 


So, let me get this straight whoever wrote this piece.  You want to put all deer, bear, and cougars in a large fenced enclosure so they don’t bother you anymore?  What the hell are ‘deer at large?’  Deer ARE at large.  Deer are not domesticated.  They LIVE out there and have lived out there for much, much, longer than you can imagine. They were around long before roads, ‘properties,’ cities, towns, apple trees, you and your precious vehicle.  Damage to your vehicle?  How do you think the deer felt?  Do you think the deer deliberately set out to damage your vehicle?  Maybe they are suicide deer, like suicide bombers, bent on destroying human civilization.  Just for one second think about all the vehicle collisions that don’t involve ‘wild’ animals but only humans.  Maybe WE need to be put in a large fenced enclosure and let all the other animals run free and unimpeded by our roads and stupid, frightened attitudes. But I don’t really want to get nitpicky here. 


What the attitude underlying this piece belies is a profound disconnect with the planet and stunning ignorance of basic ecology.  It is so utterly self and human-centered as to be comical.  However, we have ‘wildlife preserves’ in Africa and large zoos everywhere so it may be just one stupid step further to convince people that this could just work.  Of course we’d have to kill on sight every animal that left the ‘large fenced area,’ but that’s ok as long as they don’t damage our vehicles. 


I’m not going to go on about this.  I could, could I ever.  As I said, I’m amused and bemused by this, but I’m also saddened by the arrogance and ignorance displayed by this piece of silliness.  What do you think about it? 

Just for you I’ve posted a picture of a deer at large. I have no idea who took it.  I got it from ‘the web.’  This is a four point buck. There aren’t many four pointers around.  They don’t usually live long enough to get that many points.  We see a few 2 pointers around but I haven’t seen a 4 pointer in a long time.  



12 thoughts on “Deer, deer, me…ultimate ignorance.

  1. All I can think is that they must travel an awful lot on our provincial highways to have had four accidents within the past couple of years involving deer. I travel back and forth between here and Campbell River a fair bit and there are signs warning that members of the deer family (elk etc.) might jump out onto the highway in front of us, so I make myself conscious of this fact and drive with this awareness on my mind. My eyes scan the treed area from whence the deer may jump, but in all my years driving back and forth between here and Port McNeill, actually, and this is since 1980, I have never once had a deer jump in front of my vehicle. (Knock wood, it could happen to me next trip) LOL. I am aware that deer often cross that section of Comox Avenue as we enter town from the dyke road (Comox Road) or as we leave Comox heading for the 17th Street bridge. I always watch for deer and have my foot poised to break as I travel down that road. Sometimes deer do come onto the road, but usually, they just walk. I don’t think I have ever seen one jump. I guess they are conditioned to traffic. There is an area in Campbell River as you leave town and head up to the Jubilee Parkway and I also watch carefully in that area for deer.

    On the topic of fencing wildlife in, most of the highway does have fencing parallel to it for just that purpose – to keep the animals fences off from the Inland Highway – this saves both humans and wildlife.


  2. “Maybe WE need to be put in a large fenced enclosure and let all the other animals run free and unimpeded by our roads and stupid, frightened attitudes.”

    I actually think this is a DARN good idea. Maybe we’ll stop wrecking the earth so damn much and acting like nature is an inconvenience we need to “deal” with.


  3. Hi Roger. i don’t know you but know many of the same people. I have two thoughts.
    1. Don’t bother reading that section of the newspaper. It’ll only be bad for your blood pressure. Anonymous commentary undermines democracy. In fact, don’t really bother reading much of the local papers.

    2. Perhaps the writer and those that agree with him/her would like to live in a special enclosure where they and their property will be safe from mischievous wildlife.

    Evan Gough


    1. I think there’s a lot to be learned from reading the local papers, just not what they intend! But, you’re right, reading the opinion section can be hard on the blood pressure!


  4. Once again, I traveled to Campbell River (today) to be treated to a home-cooked dinner by my chef son, Dave. This trip I consciously looked for the fencing along the highway, and yes, I am correct. There is fencing all the way along the Inland highway to protect wildlife and humans in their vehicles, not to mention bicycles for the adventurous. Must cost a pretty penny to put up such fencing and maintain it, but there you have it, I was correct. I saw no wildlife on the highway today either.


    1. I drove that road four times a week when I was teaching in Campbell River. Every once in a while I’d see a dead deer on the side of the road or other roadkill, but very infrequently truth be told. Other roads are much worse for roadkill.


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