As happens across the continent, municipal politicians had received complaints that there were "too many" deer. So, as is typical of our species, the response was essentially, "Well, let's kill some of them." Killing has universal appeal as a problem-solver. Here, the two main issues seem to be that the deer were eating garden plants, and that they posed a risk to drivers, children, and the elderly.
Not even excepting the American southeast, I don't think I have seen gardens more lush than in Victoria - and it was February! Back home, there were no flowers; just snow. More to the point, in exploring the streets, parks, golf courses, and school grounds of Oak Bay, I saw virtually no signs of the heavy browse lines or denuded foliage one finds when deer populations are high.
"What's a browse line?" I was asked by locals. It is the line that appears at the highest point deer can reach when consuming vegetation. If the vegetation is denuded below that line, it means food for deer is getting scarce. Even when there is a distinct browse line, the deer are often healthy. In Oak Bay, in spite of driving and walking through the community, I saw one deer, and she appeared to be in splendid health. These deer are not over-populated by any definition. They are part of the environment, and it is an environment that, like every other, changes through time and puts limits on what can be grown. I can grow a fraction of the variety of plant species that gardeners enjoy in Victoria.