Car-deer crashes approaching record numbers

FILE
FILE

KEWAUNEE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Some communities are experiencing a record number of deer accidents. That prompted a warning Thursday from some law enforcement agencies that things could get worse as we draw closer to the start of the year’s gun-deer hunt that’s two weeks away.

The Department of Natural Resources says dawn and dusk are when we should be looking out most. Deer use those times of day to move around while avoiding predators. That also happens to be when most of us are driving to and from work.

“We’re starting to get more of the bucks starting to move around as the does in this area starting to get into heat,” DNR wildlife biologist Josh Martinez said. He says there are also likely more deer in the area.

So far this year, many more deer are being hit by cars in some area counties, including a 15-point buck killed not by a bow hunter but by a car.

In Kewaunee County, Sheriff Matt Joski says they’ll likely break their record set last year with 502 accidents involving deer.

“Every year that goes by we see an increase in the number of car deer accidents throughout Kewaunee County,” Joski said.

There have been almost 400 already this year, with more deer activity is expected in the weeks ahead.

“I would caution people, especially this time of year, when operating a motor vehicle, if it has been a practice that you’re talking on your cell phone, you know, please try to minimize that because you don’t know when that animal can come out into the roadway,” Sheriff Joski said.

The sheriff says if a deer jumps out, don’t swerve. Instead, hit the brakes and keep driving straight. Swerving could result in an even worse accident.

Carter Collision has been busier than normal this fall with all the damage due to deer. Imagine the sting of a pickup truck owner needing roughly $12,000 in repairs after slamming into a deer.

“Usually we try to make it as easy as we can for the customer. We try to help them out with the insurance, as far as getting things reported,” Erin Carter said.