For Game Agencies, Human Deaths and Injuries in Vehicle-Deer Accidents are Mere Collateral Damage – Blaming the Victim (A Double Meaning) Management for Hunting Has Got To Go?

By Joe Miele, President of C.A.S.H.

Photos from Internet, USA Today

It’s well known in the animal activist community and also in the halls of Fish and Game that hunting seasons are drafted primarily to keep hunters happy. Most rank-and-file hunters either do not know this or they deny that it’s true.

There is no shortage of information online documenting this and I can send you plenty if you need it. In the gem of an article pasted below, Clay County Conservation Officer Chris Subbert tells us all we need to know in a way that is unambiguous. I’ve highlighted the “smoking gun” quotes.

Friday, June 26, 2015
By Hanna Russmann Daily Reporter Staff

“An average of 50-100 car-deer accidents occur each year in Clay County according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. The department responds to approximately one to two of these types of accidents a week.

‘We don’t believe that these accidents are up significantly,’ Chief Deputy Brad Hawley said. ‘It is a continual problem we have here in Iowa.’

Last year, Iowans had a one in 77 chance of being involved in a car-deer accident according to a survey conducted by State Farm Insurance. In the last five years, 14 car-deer accidents have resulted in fatalities statewide according to the Iowa Department of Health.

‘I don’t believe there has been a death as a result of one of these accidents in Clay County in the past five years,’ Hawley said.

According to Clay County Conservation Officer Chris Subbert, the deer population in Clay County is down from previous years, but exact numbers were not readily available.

‘Our county went to buck-only hunting during early muzzle loader season and first shotgun season to help build up the herd by not taking out as many does last year,’ Subbert explained. ‘That will continue to be the case this year as well. Other surrounding counties are doing the same.’

He added, ‘If we didn’t build back up the herd, hunters wouldn’t have as much success and leave to go hunting elsewhere. Hopefully we can achieve a happy balance with the deer population for hunting and keeping car-deer accidents down.’ [See Merle Wilson’s account on page 11 about what “vehicle-deer accidents” mean on the ground.]

While the deer population is considered to be down in Clay County, Hawley noted the sheriff’s office has not witnessed fewer reports of car-deer accidents.

‘The deer population may be down, but deer still cross the road causing accidents,’ he said. ‘I don’t know if deer are more active during certain times of the year because I am not an expert on their habits, but I do know these accidents occur more frequently at dusk and dawn because it is more difficult to see deer at this time.’

In order to prevent car-deer accidents, Hawley said it is up to those behind the wheel to drive defensively.

‘Drivers need to keep their heads up and actively scan the ditches for deer,’ he explained. ‘If you see one deer, you need to remember there are likely more nearby. It is rare for a deer to travel alone. I think drivers need to be aware of deer all year long. There may be times when they are more active, but we need to be cognizant of them every time we are on the road.’“

Yet as Merle has pointed out, sometimes nothing works! Clearly, managing deer for hunting has got to stop!


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561