Motorists beware: Deer on the move
There no doubt about it there are more deer in Kansas than there used to be.
For example, in 1965, Kansas issued 4,575 permits to hunt deer. This year, the state is making available 161,000 permits.
While these numbers show an increase in the deer population and in the hunting of the animals, the increased number of deer also reflects a now-common driving hazard running into a deer.
Glenn Cannizzaro, conservation officer with Kansas
Wildlife and Parks, said that in 1999, Leavenworth County ranked ninth out of the 105 counties in Kansas deer-related vehicle accidents that have been reported. Leavenworth County 1999 count reached 231, slightly down from the 1998 total of 263.
Nearby Johnson County topped the 1999 list, showing 368 deer-related vehicle accidents. Douglas County came in at 258.
Moreover, across Kansas in 1999, law enforcement officials reported 10,339 deer-related vehicle accidents.
Obviously, Cannizzaro said, the counties with the highest number of vehicle/deer collisions are the most highly populated counties. And usually, he said, damage in these accidents is limited to property and the deer.
ut due to the increase in deer population across the state and because of higher highway speeds when speed limits are 65, people have a harder time slowing down to avoid car-deer accidents,Cannizzaro said.
Leavenworth County Sheriff Herb Nye agreed.
hank goodness, most of them are property damage accidents,Nye said. sure you get shook up, but unless a deer pops up over the hood and comes over the windshield, or unless youe going excessive speeds, you should be all right.
Considering the high deer population, there not much a driver can do to avoid running into a deer.
But Cannizzaro said, with the deer going into rut this month, they will be more active, particularly in the mornings and evenings.
eople need to pay attention when driving down the road,Cannizzaro said. ather than having tunnel vision, they need to look on the sides of the road and watch for the glow of their eyes or deer movement.
And, if one deer is seen, a motorist should be cautious.
f they see one deer, there probably more,he said, o they need to slow down and keep paying attention.
Concerned motorists might want to install deer whistles on their vehicles, even though there debate on whether they prevent vehicle-related deer collisions.
e have deer whistles on our county patrol cars, and we still have patrol cars running into deer,Nye said. ut as cheap as they are, it kind of a little insurance policy to have them.
The key is the positioning, Nye added:
he deer whistles have to be positioned so that they get air flow through them.
Cannizzaro said individuals involved in car-deer accidents should contact a local law enforcement agency highway patrol, sheriff department or city police to make a report.
If the driver wants to claim the deer, an accidental kill tag must be obtained.
t unlawful for them to pick up a deer without having a permit or tag worked by a law enforcement agency,Cannizzaro said.