Found this article in the Calgary Herald. It's just a warning that you should always keep your dog on a leash in the park and never feed the deer!
Belligerent deer new bullies of Waterton townsite
BY JEN GERSON, CALGARY HERALD
Tourists find the deer that fearlessly wander the streets and sidewalks of the town of Waterton difficult to resist.
Last season, one man pulled a handful of popcorn from his sack and fed it to a seemingly docile, doe-eyed creature. The animal nibbled its way through the proffered treat and the man stopped feeding it. But the creature wanted more.
That was when the deer attacked.
After a few swift thwacks of the hoof, the man's hand was injured and his bag torn.
"He was OK, but when he came in here, he was pretty shook up," said Debbie West, owner of the Trapper's Mountain Grill.
"We tried to explain that you're not supposed to feed them," West said.
She has witnessed a growing problem in picturesque Waterton, a resort town that attracts thousands of travellers every year. The deer are becoming aggressive.
While it's not uncommon for a doe to defend its fawn at this time of year, the species' increasing population, human habituation and a lack of carnivores are instilling behaviours that park staff is calling unnatural.
It's normal for deer to defend their offspring from wayward dogs. In recent years, however, dog owners have reported the deer hunting and hoofing their beloved pups.
Signs have been posted around town warning dog owners of the risks of a deer attack. The park's staff has even seen deer stalk joggers.
As a result of complaints from the community, the park has begun a program to mark problem deer with paintball guns and relocate repeat offenders.
"Bambi's not nice," said Randall Schwanke, a resource conservation specialist at the park, adding, the problem is growing, probably because the deer are rapidly multiplying in the townsite.
"It's a bit of an unnatural situation because the manicured lawns and the water here attract the deer."
Despite their placid appearance, deer and humans do not coexist well. Almost all the gardens in town are surrounded by wire fences to keep deer from eating saplings and plants.
Almost everyone in town seems to have an angry deer story.
Gerry Muza, a retiree who has lived in the community for 35 years, said: "I saw a warden walking his dog down the road on a leash, doing it all proper, and a deer chased after him. He runs away and I see this happening, and I drive and put my truck between the deer and him. And then the deer runs around the truck. I drive in between them again and I say, 'Get in the back.' "
The warden and his dog jumped into his truck and Muza said he drove away "and the deer is chasing us down the street. It was bizarre."
Muza has also watched unwary tourists injured when they try to feed the deer, or get too close for snapshots.
"Deer have amazingly fast front hoofs so people who put the bread out for them to feed and then pull their hand back, they get their hand cut," he said. "In the true nature of being Canadian, it's not uncommon to see people walking around here with a hockey stick."
To manage the deer problem, park officials have taken an unconventional tack. Officers now carry paintball pistols.
When a complaint about a deer comes in, the officer hunts it down and marks it with a colourful, oil-based paint ball. The program operates on a three-strike system, Schwanke said.
After one complaint, the deer is marked. If it offends again, it's shipped out of the park. If it comes back, or injures a human, park officials will "remove the deer from the wildlife population," he said. So far, this year, three deer have been marked by paint. None has been removed.
"Obviously, we give every benefit of the doubt to the animal."
However, Schwanke said the problem is getting worse and park officials don't entirely know why.
"They are actively stalking dogs from a distance," he said. "That's unnatural. Others were even chasing joggers."
Equally odd, the reports of aggressive deer aren't isolated to Waterton. He's also heard of problems in other places -- like Invermere. B.C., Banff and on some university campuses.
"They're all experiencing the same type of issue," he said.
Schwanke said he's concerned the deer will eventually attract predators such as wolves, bears and cougars into the town. In the meantime, the park is taking a wait-and-see approach as it forms a committee to study the deer population.