Deer in Fairview

Several residents have expressed concern over the number of deer that roam in Fairview. Deer are not considered dangerous, but should be treated with caution as they are a wild animal and can behave unpredictably if they feel threatened, especially when accompanied by their young. Residents are strongly encouraged to adopt strategies to discourage deer from eating in and staying in their yards. On May 7, 2019, Council held a consultation with Alberta Fish & Wildlife Officers, at which several suggestions were given to discourage the deer from inhabiting properties.

What Should You Do?

The primary way to prevent the deer from staying in your yard is to remove anything that may be attracting them. This includes fallen fruit, restricting access to gardens, planting things that deter or are not attractive to the deer and not leaving out anything else that may be viewed as food. Other methods include chemical deterrents such as Plantskydd or mechanical methods such as automatic alarms/spray or a tall fence. See below for more information about these specific methods.
  • Never feed deer – Feeding the deer encourages them to stay and become more accustomed to living in town. Ensure that all fruit and vegetables are picked up as soon as possible from your yard or ensure that the deer are unable to access it. Do not leave out hay or similar products for the deer to eat.
  • Deter deer from your yard – Plant trees and plants that deer do not like to eat. Fence your backyard to ensure that deer are unable to access it. If you find deer sleeping in your yard, try putting out patio furniture and move it around each day to discourage them from coming back. Don’t use your dog to chase deer out of the yard as the deer may attack your pet.
  • Give deer space – If you encounter a deer while walking, give the deer as much room as possible so they do not feel trapped. If possible, turn around and go back the way you came. If you are driving and see a deer, slow down, as there may be others that you are unable to see.
  • Keep dogs on leash – Town bylaws state that dogs must be on leash at all times when off your property, the one exception being at the dog park. This also helps to promote safety when a deer is encountered when out walking your dog. Most dogs love to chase a fleeing animal and this may result in your pet being injured by the deer, the deer and your dog running out into traffic or other undesirable outcomes.
  • Report aggressive incidents – If you do encounter an aggressive deer, immediately call the Report-a-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. You may also call 911 to have RCMP attend if you feel this is required.
If you encounter an aggressive deer, please immediately notify the appropriate authorities by calling the Report-A-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. This line is monitored 24/7 by wildlife professionals. Complaints regarding just the presence of deer in your area will not be followed up on.

Deterrents

Plantskydd comes highly recommended to deter deer from eating gardens and plants.
Margo Supplies sells other products to scare animals with noise and lights (please be sure to abide by the Community Standards Bylaw, Noise section when using a device such as this).
Other places sell devices that can spray animals with water.

Please note that the links we posted above are only suggestions. The Town of Fairview does not endorse these specific products or vendors.
The Town of Okotoks has provided the following list of plants that are known to be deer resistant. Liatris, salvia, ornamental grasses, yarrow, stonecrop autumn joy, catmint, lilies, daffodil, monkshood, delphinium, foxglove, iris, ornamental rhubarb, Solomon’s seal, lupines, hellebores, cushion spurge, bleeding heart, lily of the valley, false indigo, and columbine. This list (including pictures) is available from the Town of Okotoks website here.