Deer and motorists–avoiding accidents

Deer and motorists–avoiding accidents


By Susan Johnson

Copy Editor

This time of year, when deer are on the move, sometimes the animals and humans meet “accidentally”–with fatal results for the deer and often damage to the motorist’s car.

The Rock River Times questioned Sgt. Phil Beu of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. He explained some of the problems encountered.

TRRT: Where do deer usually get hit–what roads or park areas?

Sgt. Beu: Close to conservation areas because there’s a large amount of deer living in that area–Newburg Road, Business 20 and Shaw Road–any 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 aren’t paying attention, and the deer are close to the roadway area. They’re not catching that, and the deer gets spooked somehow and jumps out in front of the vehicle. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. When they get a little fear in them, they just run into the vehicle, and there’s 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 frightened–like 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. There’s 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.

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