Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
From the Fall 2002 / Winter 2003 Issue
Preventing Car-Deer Collisions:
Guidelines for Local, Township, and County Governments
Suburban sprawl and state wildlife policies
have led to increases in deer populations in recent decades. More
more automobile use have resulted in large numbers of car-deer
collisions, as documented by the insurance industry. Citizens tell
something!" Here are some practical measures local, township,
and county officials may wish to consider:
residents that deer do not comprehend automobiles, not
having evolved with this threat, and that driving slowly
and carefully is the most effective way to prevent collisions.
- Make sure residents realize most
car-deer collisions occur at dawn and dusk, and hunting season
and mating season bring far more collisions than other times of
Alert drivers to those seasons.
- Install roadside reflectors at
frequent-collision stretches of road. When headlights hit them,
they cause deer to think a barrier prevents them from entering the
- Learn deer patterns by roadways and
make practical adjustments, such as driveway guards,
changes in vegetation, and more. See www.bennersgardens.com and www.wildlife-control.com.
- Ask transportation departments of
New York, California, Maryland, and other states about their
recent testing of motion-detecting devices that signal drivers
when animals are approaching the road.
Wildlife Watch is pleased to provide additional information
and to consult with officials seeking to deal with this important public-safety matter.
Killing Deer: A False "Solution"
Since deer alone do not cause collisions and
are never completely and permanently eliminated from an area, killing
is not an effective remedy to car-deer collisions – even though
residents sometimes call for deer kills and state wildlife agencies
them. Here are some key reasons why killing deer does not work:
- Erie Insurance company in a 2001 Companywide
Deer Claim Statistics stated that "…the 2-week hunting season
in late November and early December is also a time when a large
number of deer claims
occur, particularly on opening day [and the first Satuirday of
- Killing deer does nothing to reduce automobile use or to ensure
- Killing deer does nothing to prevent surviving or newly arrived
deer from entering roadways.
- Knowing a deer kill has taken place, drivers may exercise too
little caution, mistakenly thinking collisions are no longer
- Killing deer causes some animals to enter roadways as they
run for their lives.
- Killing deer disrupts subsequent deer patterns by
changing groups, making the animals’ whereabouts less predictable.
- Killing a significant percentage of deer produces rapid population
growth among surviving animals. The fawn survival rate increases;
does reproduce at a younger age; triplets or even quadruplets may
be born rather than the usual twin fawns; and vacant territory
invites deer from elsewhere.
- Killing deer does nothing to diminish
the large deer food supply provided by sprawl through the
destruction of forest and the resulting abundance of low-growing
vegetation, i.e., deer food.
Deer-kill proposals and deer kills usually produce
social strife. They violate the traditional humane values Americans
hold dear, destroying animals unnecessarily without addressing key
causes of car-deer collisions. Wildlife Watch is pleased to provide
more information about the deer-kill problem and to explain this to
This flier is provided as a public service by Wildlife
Watch, a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization.
It may be copied and distributed without express permission.
Wildlife Watch Inc.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-622-7999, [email protected]
Return to Fall 2002 / Winter 2003 Issue