Kennebecasis Valley — Oh deer! The Department of Natural Resources today responded to the release of the 2016 deer population statistics by reclassifying whitetail deer as a “species at risk” in the province of New Brunswick. Along with the bald eagle and the Canada lynx, the whitetail deer will now have a protected status and will no longer be harvested by eager hunters this fall.
In response to a Right to Information request filed by the CBC, DNR revealed that the deer herd in New Brunswick has declined by more than 70 percent since the mid-1980s. In 1985, the deer herd was estimated to be 270,532. By DNR’s latest estimates, the province’s deer population stands at about 74,338… oops, someone just hit one in Rothesay… 74,337.
“Honestly, we used to have so many deer in New Brunswick, DNR just stopped counting for a while,” confessed Natural Resources minister Denis Landry. “When the CBC filed their RTI, the department was caught in the headlights. We had to drop everything for a few weeks and go count them. That’s why it took so long to answer. Honestly, it cost quite a few bucks.
“Actually the number of deer is probably less than 74,000; we might have counted some twice or three times. Those dumb bastards run away every time we go near them and they all look alike. So my real answer is something like, ‘Who the hell knows?’”
When it became clear that the number of deer had fallen by more than 70 percent in the past 30 years, Landry took swift action. The minister invoked section 19 of the province’s Species at Risk Act to make an emergency designation of the whitetail deer as an “endangered species.” Landry says that deer will remain on the list for the remainder of 2016, meaning there will be no deer hunting season this fall.
“Where did they all go? I have no id-deer,” said Landry. “No one seems to know for sure, and that’s pretty alarming. Is it weather? Predators? Habitat destruction? Over-harvesting? All of the above? Until we know for sure, emergency conservation measures will remain in place.”
Meanwhile, deer in southern New Brunswick seem to be growing wary of humans. Most of the deer in the region seem to have migrated to the Kennebecasis Valley and using only their animalistic instincts, banded together to strike back at their human oppressors. Reports of deer assaults in the region (similar to the ones depicted here and here) have skyrocketed in recent weeks.
“We are under siege,” says KV resident Elizabeth Roe. “The deer roam the streets day and night in gangs… well, some call them herds. But anyways, they go wherever they want, eat whatever they want, poop everywhere, and stop traffic. They don’t give a care — they are showing us who’s in charge.”
Such an attack interrupted an outdoor stag party in Quispamsis. When asked to identify his ruminant assailant, one attendee admitted he couldn’t tell one apart from another.
“All I can tell you is it was a doe — a deer, a female deer.”