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In Ohio, autumn brings increased number of car-deer collisions

A current debate in Solon is centering on something not often considered by city residents, namely, this: whether the city should soon implement a sharpshooter culling program and pilot crossbow hunting program to reduce the presence of deer locally.

Advocates of the idea point to statistics from the Ohio Department of Transportation (“ODOT”) indicating that as many as 60,000 car accidents involving deer occur annually in Ohio.

That is a rough estimate, state ODOT officials, given that many people don’t report deer-vehicle mishaps. Those who did last year, though, numbered more than 23,000, with four Ohioans killed and 1,063 injured. In Solon alone, 64 vehicles collided with deer.

And because November is the busiest month of the year for deer on Ohio roadways, the discussion whether to hunt them in even urban environments is taking place now.

November is annually the time of most concern, since deer are mating and on the move throughout the month. Coupled with that is that many hunters are on the road and daylight hours are decreased.

That spells a recipe for collisions. State transportation officials offer the following advice to increase the chances of avoiding one:

  • Be absolutely sure to wear a seat belt and drive with caution
  • Keep an especially sharp eye out around dawn and after sunset
  • Keep in mind that deer often travel in groups

Officials are reminding motorists to contact local police following any car-deer crash

Related Resource: Solon Patch, “Autumn is peak deer crash season” Sept. 30, 2011