Government Must Keep Drivers Safe by Ending the Mismanagement of Deer for Hunting

Credit Google photos

Merle Wilson keeps a watchful eye over the government and laws of Iowa. What used to be a theoretical criticism of the DNR’s mismanagement of deer has now become the outcry of a father whose son, Skip, was severely injured in a motorcycle/deer collision. C.A.S.H. is praying for Skip’s recovery from a devastating accident and we applaud Merle’s successful outreach to newspapers. We believe that Lee Rood’s article titled: Managing Iowa’s Deer: Weighing Safety and Sport is a first of its kind in a mainstream newspaper.

Investigative reporter, Lee Rood, pointed out: “..the bottom line for most of us to mull over are these numbers: 69,603 crashes, 4179 injuries, and 59 deaths due to deer run-ins in the past decade…..Iowa also consistently ranks near the top nationally for the likelihood of car-deer crashes. Last year Iowans had a 1 in 77 chance of getting into a car-deer accident – a greater chance than all of the other states except for Montana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia according to an annual survey by State Farm Insurance based on claims and driver data.  …Costs related to deer crashes increased almost 14 percent last year for insurance companies, with the average being 3,888 in 2014.”

When Lee Rood interviewed the DNR, they said that hunters wanted higher numbers of deer. When the Farm Bureau and insurance industry, soybean and corn associations met with the DNR to complain about crop damage and car damage, they came away empty handed.

Read the full story here:

Merle wrote:

Iowa has a Department of Public Safety. According to their website, their goal is to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths in Iowa. It must be almost impossible for them to do their job when the DNR continues to flood the state with targets for sport-shooters.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is spending millions of dollars to install cable barricades in the median on all four lane highways. Their reason for the barricades they say is that when drivers lose control of their vehicles, they cross the median and into oncoming traffic, and they are killed. Yet, no one is spending one thin dime to keep the deer off of any Iowa road.

In a letter to the editor in April sent to 105 newspapers, Merle wrote:

On Monday, March 16 at approximately 6:00 am, our son left home to go to work in Waterloo. Less than two miles from home, he struck one of the DNR’s overpopulated deer. At 11:00 that morning, trauma doctors in Iowa City worked to save his life. He had a ruptured spleen, several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and head and facial injuries so severe that my wife and I could not recognize our own son. He also sustained a traumatic brain injury from which he may never recover.

Our son lives on the Black Hawk-Bremer County line north of Dunkerton. These counties are two of the 26 counties in which the DNR allowed no does to be killed the first shotgun season. Consider that each healthy doe produces from 1 to 3 offspring each year. We have a video of over 200 deer in one field a mile east of our son’s house, yet the DNR claims the herd numbers are down by 35% to 38%. They claim deer-related crashes are down also, but the bodyshops say they have had no reduction in their business. It looks like someone is putting false information out.

Every driver, every motorcycle rider, every passenger should have the right to expect safe travel on Iowa’s roads. Due to the over population of the deer herd, no road in Iowa is safe. Iowa ranks third in the nation — THIRD — for deer-related accidents. The DNR’s deer kill and sometimes cripple people for the rest of their lives. There is something wrong when greed, money and sport-shooters can drive the DNR to supply more deer for them that takes precedence over public safety.

Our son went from being a productive human being, going to work everyday, buying products, and paying taxes to facing financial ruin. Skip was the family’s bread winner. It now looks like he may never work again.

I can only wonder what the DNR thinks of all the families of the people killed and crippled for life, and what they are supposed to do when they no longer have an income–all caused by their deer!


Contact Us

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