Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9 2013 11:55 p.m. MDT
If we're 24th (according to the article) or 30th (according to the
headline) in deer collisions, it places us right about in the middle, meaning
we're average -- not one of the worst. It's all a matter of how the
writer wants to set the tone of the article. If there were only one state with
fewer deer collisions, for instance, it could say that either we were second
best in the nation or that we were among the 49 worst states for deer accidents.
I've also lived in states where there are bigger animals to
worry about. Hitting a cow, a horse, or a moose on the roadway will usually
total the car and result in serious injuries to those inside. Deer are
I hope these statistics take into account items such as total vehicle miles
driven in deer-prevalent sections of road, seasonally and time-of-day
adjusted.I had the chance to study and implement Deer Control Fencing
along N CA Highways, and watched the "Horn-locking" between true
Wildlife Biologists and Landscape Architects, and Environmental Activists.Be advised that deer are not just "Foragers"; acorns and such, but
quite also "Browsers"; young and tender leaves of varying specific
varieties. Plant roadside vegetation with thought and care.Put your
prejudices aside and take the time to respectfully seek the advice of Local
Hunters and Provisioners. They know where the deer are, and know their
migration paths and patterns.Would one rather herd-thinning feed a
family, or random road-kills feed landfills ??
I can't remember the last time I heard of a deer getting hit or seen a
carcase on the side of the road in Utah.
@Anon0101You must not leave Wasatch Front very often. Too many around my
If you want to see deer, come to Herriman. We enjoyed them at first, upon
moving here, and have a photo of nine in our backyard in a fairly dense housing
area. Our attitude began to change when we lost perhaps a $1000 in landscaping,
mostly in new trees and have since put up fencing. In time, we began to notice
one of the reasons we have such a problem: some residents put out food for the
deer and plant forage specifically for their enjoyment. One animal we
do not have a problem with, at least in our neighborhood, is coyotes. Even in
downtown Los Angeles, near the park surrounding Dodger Stadium, one could hear
them at night and would occasionally see one. Perhaps if the bounty for their
pelts were removed, we could enjoy their sounds and sightings here from time to
time. They are very intelligent animals living in family groups similar to us
humans and, in my opinion, much more interesting than deer. More coyotes = less
deer = nature more in balance = fewer traffic collisions involving autos and
deer, the current inadvertent method of holding the deer population in check.
From my days as a long-haul truck driver I must say I was surprised that
Pennsylvania wasn't first and Ohio and Kentucky didn't tie for second.
I always found that Utah was about average; the data suggests better than
average so perhaps those efforts at changing deer crossings are doing some good.
Still seems like lots of money when it would be much easier to just curtail
driving during certain hours at certain locations. Or at least educate drivers
better about the risks so they can adapt.Back east the deer move
across the roads at almost anytime but out here I would bet that 90% of
deer/vehicle conflicts occur within an hour either side of sunset or sunrise and
the rest through-out the night.And about those coyotes---really
don't have much impact on deer populations. Beyond a few days past birth,
the coyote hasn't the propensity to hunt deer as it is a much larger prey
than a coyote can handle singly and coyotes do not typically pack hunt. Deer are
sharp hooved and quite able to cope with an attacking coyote in defense of its
life or its young.
In regards to the effect of coyotes on the deer population, I reference a
Deseret News article from 12/14/2010: "Utah animal trap proposal pits
hunters against wildlife advocates". The article addressed the cruelty of
animal traps used to decrease the coyote population. According to the founder
of "Sportsman for Fish & Wildlife": "There's too many
coyotes. They're dramatically reducing the deer population" and they
"deliver a steady blow to the hunting industry by killing young deer".
Later in the article, Utah’s DWR officials acknowledged that coyote
predation is a factor in limiting the size of deer herds, but they disputed some
of the claims of the Sportsman’s group. Whatever, from the statistics
given, coyotes have a modest effect on the size of the deer population. And, I
believe that modest effect is important: a modest decrease in the number of deer
dying by automobile impact is worthy and also keeps Utah drivers safer. And, I
believe allowing a few more coyote to feed their families is also worthy. As
animals, they are sophisticated and intelligent and deserve at least as much of
a place in the scheme of preservation as does the deer population.
@sewI'm afraid you're giving the DWR - and Utahn in
general - far too much credit. According to the average Utahn, if it can't
be hunted, shot, packaged in 1 lb. increments, and stored in the freezer,
it's not an animal worth having around.
State Farm will put ANY label on you, to justify raising rates.For
heaven's sake, they call Dallas, TX a "Tornado Area". Sheesh!!
I moved to TX from OR 8 years ago. I drive a LOT of miles, and to
date have only seen ONE deer carcass by the roadside. I guess that's
because the deer down here are PUNY, and most of the pickups will go right over
their heads.....Everything is bigger in Texas - Except the deer. I
swear, I've seen bigger dogs....
"State Farm will put ANY label on you, to justify raising rates. For
heaven's sake, they call Dallas, TX a "Tornado Area". Sheesh!!"
-@J-TXI took a trip to the Fort Worth / Dallas area a few years ago
and the day I arrived they had a tornado touched down and tear up an older
residential area, causing quite a bit of damage. So, yes I would have to agree
with State Farm that the Fort Worth / Dallas area is a "Tornado
Area."However, I have to agree with you about the size of the
Texas deer, they are puny. Saw a four point buck cross the road and thought it
was a Jackalope. :o)
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