Urban Deer Management

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Image of three deer feeding in an urban setting.


If you live or work in the Town of Yarmouth, it’s no secret that the deer population has grown in recent years. And not just by a small margin. In some cases, people are reporting seeing up to 15 deer in their yard at one time. While beautiful, they are becoming more and more of an issue each year. We are not alone, as many other towns across the province are experiencing the same problem.

Looking For Solutions through a Deer Management Strategy

At the April 14th 2022 Yarmouth Town Council meeting, a motion was passed to mirror the Deer Management Strategy developed by the Town of Truro. The strategy will address all issues related to the overpopulation of deer in town. This includes reducing problems with deer as they affect individual properties, offering public education, and exploring options for reducing the population. The strategy will be developed with oversight and guidance from Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables.

Creation of a Deer Management Working Group

A key step in implementing a Deer Management Strategy involves forming a Deer Management Working Group. The group includes town staff, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables representatives, members of the community, and other experts. The group is looking at all sides of the issue to find short and long-term solutions.

With the formation of a working group, the Town of Yarmouth is moving forward in hope of developing a comprehensive strategy to solve the deer population issue.

Deer Management Group Members

Elected Official Members

Councillor Gil Dares (Chair)
Councillor Wade Cleveland

Appointed Members At Large

Tracey Parker
Freeman Libby
Anne de Grosbois

Department of Natural Resources

Deanna Nauss (Area Manager, Yarmouth /Digby), Tricia Fleming (Human Wildlife Conflict Biologist), Sian Wilson (Regional Biologist) – on leave

Town of Yarmouth Staff

CAO, Jeff Gushue
Municipal Clerk / Executive Assistant, Lindsay MacKinnon
Communications Coordinator, Mike Carter

Please check this page often, as we will provide updates on the working group's progress, and seek your input on key issues. You can also click the "STAY INFORMED - Subscribe for project updates" over on the right side of the page to receive updates.


If you live or work in the Town of Yarmouth, it’s no secret that the deer population has grown in recent years. And not just by a small margin. In some cases, people are reporting seeing up to 15 deer in their yard at one time. While beautiful, they are becoming more and more of an issue each year. We are not alone, as many other towns across the province are experiencing the same problem.

Looking For Solutions through a Deer Management Strategy

At the April 14th 2022 Yarmouth Town Council meeting, a motion was passed to mirror the Deer Management Strategy developed by the Town of Truro. The strategy will address all issues related to the overpopulation of deer in town. This includes reducing problems with deer as they affect individual properties, offering public education, and exploring options for reducing the population. The strategy will be developed with oversight and guidance from Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables.

Creation of a Deer Management Working Group

A key step in implementing a Deer Management Strategy involves forming a Deer Management Working Group. The group includes town staff, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables representatives, members of the community, and other experts. The group is looking at all sides of the issue to find short and long-term solutions.

With the formation of a working group, the Town of Yarmouth is moving forward in hope of developing a comprehensive strategy to solve the deer population issue.

Deer Management Group Members

Elected Official Members

Councillor Gil Dares (Chair)
Councillor Wade Cleveland

Appointed Members At Large

Tracey Parker
Freeman Libby
Anne de Grosbois

Department of Natural Resources

Deanna Nauss (Area Manager, Yarmouth /Digby), Tricia Fleming (Human Wildlife Conflict Biologist), Sian Wilson (Regional Biologist) – on leave

Town of Yarmouth Staff

CAO, Jeff Gushue
Municipal Clerk / Executive Assistant, Lindsay MacKinnon
Communications Coordinator, Mike Carter

Please check this page often, as we will provide updates on the working group's progress, and seek your input on key issues. You can also click the "STAY INFORMED - Subscribe for project updates" over on the right side of the page to receive updates.

  • Deer Management Group Holds First Meeting, Plans a Path Forward

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    Thursday, October 13, 2022 – Earlier this year, council passed a motion to begin the process of finding solutions to the town’s overpopulation of deer. The motion laid out a plan to follow the Deer Management Strategy developed by the Town of Truro, to help address all issues related to deer in town. A key part of the strategy is to form a Deer Management Working Group, which was created over the summer. The group recently held their first meeting, and began to set a path forward to find solutions.

    The meeting involved an introduction of members, the selection of a Chair, and a thorough review of the group’s terms of reference. The terms of reference outline the group’s purpose and objectives, and a step-by-step process to develop, communicate, and implement the management strategy. The group also reviewed and discussed Truro’s management plan and timeline, deer data collection, and a future public Information session. The meeting closed with a review of the process and timelines, and a healthy discussion on the many issues created by deer within town limits.

    “It was a great first meeting that allowed us to become familiar with each other, as well as the issues at hand”, said group Chair and Town Councillor Gil Dares. “Developing an effective strategy is going to take time as there are many steps we need to follow. Deer management has become an important issue, and this group is ready to get to work.”

    The group plans to meet monthly, and will engage the public and offer updates on a frequent basis.

    ###


    About the Deer Management Working Group

    The group includes members of council, town staff, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables representatives, members of the community, and other experts. The current group members are (with more members to be added):

    Elected Official Members

    Councillor Gil Dares (Chair)
    Councillor Wade Cleveland

    Appointed Members At Large

    Tracey Parker
    Freeman Libby
    Anne de Grosbois

    Department of Natural Resources

    Deanna Nauss (Area Manager, Yarmouth /Digby), Tricia Fleming (Human Wildlife Conflict Biologist), Sian Wilson (Regional Biologist) – on leave

    Town of Yarmouth Staff

    CAO, Jeff Gushue
    Municipal Clerk / Executive Assistant, Lindsay MacKinnon
    Communications Coordinator, Mike Carter



  • A cull? Something else? Controlling deer population to be explored by Town of Yarmouth

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    Yarmouth looking to Town of Truro's experience as it seeks solutions to managing the deer population. Truro held a controlled cull earlier this year.

  • Don’t Feed the Wild Animals! An important reminder as the town works on solutions to the deer population

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    If you live or work in the Town of Yarmouth, it’s no secret that the deer population has grown in recent years. And not just by a small margin. In some cases, people are reporting seeing up to 15 deer in their yard at one time. While beautiful, they are becoming more and more of an issue each year. We are not alone, as many other towns across the province are experiencing the same problem.

    One of those towns is Truro. To tackle the issue, Truro developed a Deer Management Strategy. A key ingredient of that strategy was the formation of a working group consisting of council members, town staff, and other community stakeholders and experts. The group has been successful in helping define the problem and build strategy to address it.

    At the April 14th Yarmouth Town Council meeting, a motion was passed to follow Truro’s model and begin the process of managing the deer population by forming the same type of working group. This is an important first step toward finding a long-term solution to the town’s deer population problem.

    Solutions from this working group will take time to develop. Until then, we can begin to address the problem by taking some actions of our own. In particular, avoiding the deliberate feeding of deer. Feeding wild animals in the Town of Yarmouth is not allowed under bylaw TOY 71 – “Feeding Wild Animals Bylaw”. Developed last year, a key purpose of the bylaw is to prevent the feeding of deer. Putting out food not only attracts other unwanted animals such as racoons and rats. It makes our deer problem worse as it causes them to gather unnaturally into groups of high densities. These high deer densities can:

    • attract predators and increase risk of death by coyotes or domestic dogs.
    • spread disease among deer and introduce lyme-disease carrying ticks to properties.
    • cause aggression, wasting vital energy reserves and leading to injury or death.
    • result in over-browsing of local vegetation and ornamental plants, including resident’s gardens.
    • increase deer-vehicle collisions, a danger to both deer and motorists.


    Feeding is bad for deer and bad for residents. While the town is now actively working on a solution to the deer population to protect the health and safety of citizens, please do not feed deer and other wildlife. The Feeding Wild Animals bylaw can be found on our website at townofyarmouth.ca/town-hall/by-laws.html. You may also request a paper copy at town hall, 400 Main Street.

Page last updated: 13 Oct 2022, 08:53 AM