Deer and motoristsavoiding accidents
By Susan Johnson
This time of year, when deer are on the move, sometimes the animals and humans meet accidentallywith fatal results for the deer and often damage to the motorists car.
The Rock River Times questioned Sgt. Phil Beu of the Boone County Sheriffs Department. He explained some of the problems encountered.
TRRT: Where do deer usually get hitwhat roads or park areas?
Sgt. Beu: Close to conservation areas because theres a large amount of deer living in that areaNewburg Road, Business 20 and Shaw Roadany areas that are heavily used. We have several major roads that are somewhat wooded, and there seems to be a lot of deer activity.
TRRT: What is the most common cause of accidents?
Sgt. Beu: A lot of people, drivers, maybe some arent paying attention, and the deer are close to the roadway area. Theyre not catching that, and the deer gets spooked somehow and jumps out in front of the vehicle. Sometimes theres nothing you can do. When they get a little fear in them, they just run into the vehicle, and theres nothing the drivers can do to avoid it.
TRRT: Do more collisions occur at night, early morning or specific times of day?
Sgt. Beu: Usually, they are more active around dawn and dusk.
TRRT: Does the rutting season play a part in these accidents?
Sgt. Beu: Sure. A lot of times, when the deer are unfamiliar with the area and frightenedlike any other animal, they are darting out and make a lot of quick movements.
TRRT: Can motorists who hit a deer utilize the carcass for venison? If so, what procedures need to be followed to claim the deer?
Sgt. Beu: Yes. Theres some paperwork that needs to be filed with the Department of Natural Resources for them to do that. There has to be notification (with the DNR) that the individual took the deer.
Motorists are urged to use extra caution in areas where deer are active, and of course, any accidents must be reported to the authorities.