One of my favourite photographs of my late grandmother is shot of her feeding a deer in the forest during a trip to Jasper National Park years ago.
She has a priceless look of astonishment on her face as the deer, obviously used to people using the nearby trails, accepts a bit of bread from her hand.
We don't seem to think of deer in the same way as, say, bears or coyotes, with close contact to be avoided. I mean, it's Bambi. What's the harm in making friends?
[ Related: Vandals damage Cranbrook deer cull nets ]
But as wildlife experts will tell you, deer aren't any more suitable candidates for being our animal pals than a cougar or a grizzly. In fact, they've become a particular nuisance in some B.C. communities as a population boom brings them into closer contact with humans.
A woman in Kimberley, in southeastern B.C., suffered cuts and bruises in 2011 after being stomped by an aggressive deer while walking her small dogs, The Canadian Press reported at the time. It's thought the deer may have been protecting a fawn.
Last year, a deer also protecting a fawn injured a small dog in a back yard in Oak Bay, a suburb of Victoria, according to CTV News.
The deer problem in and around the B.C. capital has been growing. Local farmers want hunters to be allowed to cull the deer, which are grazing on their crops, the Victoria Times Colonist reported.
The town of Cranbrook, in B.C.'s Kootenay region, has set up a plan to cull as many as 30 mule deer. Cranbrook was the scene of a much-viewed 2010 video showing a mother deer going after a dog and a cat to protect its fawn.
But the cull is running into opposition from animal activists. The program was being challenged in B.C. Supreme Court, the Cranbrook Daily Townsman reported recently, but local officials decided to proceed anyway.
The plan calls for trapping the deer in nets and then dispatching them with a bolt gun, like the kind used to kill livestock.
But opponents have foiled the initial effort, damaging the nets, CBC News reported. Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski said vandalism isn't the way to deal with concerns about the cull.
"Regardless of which side of the questions you're on, if you start to see damage or people threatened by other people then I think it has taken a very wrong turn," Stetski said.
A group called the Animal Alliance of Canada had a representative in Cranbrook when the vandalism took place but the group's director, Liz White, said they don't believe in causing damage to further their cause.
"Our organization is here to document the cull," White told CBC News. "Our group is always up front with what we are doing and so I don't support that kind of activity."
The alliance criticized the "cloak of secrecy" surrounding the Cranbrook cull in a news release earlier this month.