Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Charleswood deer kill linked to local coyotes

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Some Charleswood residents believe a wild animal is hunting deer in the bush behind their backyards.

Harold Strom believes it's a cougar after he found a mauled deer carcass earlier this week behind his home on Haney Street.

His home and those of his neighbours back on bush and marshland. It's home to a herd of 30 to 40 deer.

Two Conservation and Water Stewardship officers have investigated the area and agree the way the deer was mauled and the tracks left behind strongly suggest a predator.

But it's probably not a cougar. More likely, it's coyotes, department wildlife biologist Dean Berezanski said.

Wildlife officers aren't mounting a search for coyotes.

"At this point, we're not too concerned. We just want to make sure (residents) don't leave things that might attract other things you don't want."

Coyotes attack the rump and abdominal areas of their prey, consistent with photos of the deer carcass.

The department is advising residents to keep their pets on a leash rather than letting them roam, and to clean up food or garbage that may be left outside.

Whatever is behind Haney Street, it's still there, Strom said.

Since Monday, when the Stroms found the carcass, the omnipresent deer have vanished, replaced by something drawn to the kill site at night. The carcass is shrinking by the day as more of it is being eaten away, Strom said.

Berezanski said the best thing to do is get rid of the carcass.

"If you do have a deer carcass on your property, give the city a call and they'll pick it up. It's a 311 call," Berezanski said.

Strom said he and other homeowners with pets are taking precautions to make sure they don't roam. They're all leashed now.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 14, 2013 A7

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