Wednesday, April 11, 2018


    The federal government is spending $5.7 million over three years to eradicate introduced deer on six islands on Haida Gwaii — including the hiring of New Zealand sharpshooters to fire from helicopters, boats and on the ground with tracking dogs.
    The program, which enters its second year of eradication this spring, is designed to allow vegetation on the islands to recover from foraging by Sitka black-tailed deer, which were introduced to Haida Gwaii, then the Queen Charlotte Islands, for hunting starting in 1898.
     In 2017, a total of 598 deer were shot from March to October and their meat distributed for food on Haida Gwaii. Five Kiwis who specialize in deer eradication were hired to fire mostly .223 Remington rifles from low-flying helicopters and from the ground with tracking dogs, a mixture of breeds including Hungarian Vizsla equipped with GPS collars so hunters could follow them to the deer. Shooting also took place from boats along the shoreline.

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