Deer hunting in Pennsylvania is among the best in the country, but this state has been ranked first in the nation for another ranking: bumping into animals.
That’s according to Dave Phillips, senior public affairs specialist for State Farm Insurance.
Pennsylvania drivers ranked first in the number of animal collision claims from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, with more than 155,000 cases filed. In the 2021-2022 enrollment year that ended in June, Penn State ranked sixth in the country.
Deer hunting creates opportunities for bonding between family and friends, and venison is a high-quality source of protein. But in larger landscapes, the Pennsylvania Game Commission relies on hunters to manage the size of the deer population. Too many deer leads to deforestation, crop losses, and vehicle accidents. to be in the woods.
Deer hunting season with shotguns will begin November 26-December 10, following a variety of early deer seasons this fall.
Anyone traveling in the last month might have noticed more dead deer on the roads than at other times of the year. Deer are most active in late October and into November during the mating season and their constant flights lead to more collisions with vehicles.
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Deer accounted for the majority of vehicular damage from animals.
A study last year found that Pennsylvania drivers have a 1 in 57 chance of colliding with an animal while driving. The national average is 1 in 116.
As of November 17, the Pennsylvania Game Commission knows that 7,829 deer have been killed on highways this year. It also issued 1,115 consumption permits for additional deer that people found along the way and wanted to harvest for meat.
In all of 2021, 11,176 deer were reported to have been hit by a car.
The actual number is much higher because people are not legally required to report these incidents to the agency. Often when an animal is hit by a car, it can leave the scene and head back into the woods.
In addition to deer, the agency has learned of 639 black bears and 14 elk killed by vehicles this year. Last year, motorists killed 60 elk and 536 black bears in Pennsylvania.
Without hunters reducing the number of big game animals, these numbers would be even higher. Last year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission sold 857,964 public hunting licenses, and hunters caught 376,810 deer.
Interactions with motorists is something they take into account when planning hunting seasons, said Travis Lau, communications director for the Games Commission.
“Although we do not track the number of roadkills, we regularly poll citizens about their attitudes towards deer and whether the population they live in is too high, too low or just right. Roadkilling affects how people feel about deer.” In areas where there are a lot of them, respondents are more likely to say there are a lot of deer.In this sense, road killings figure in management decisions in this way, but not directly.
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If your car hit a deer
The Game Committee gives the following advice to motorists involved in a collision with a deer: A driver who hits a deer with a vehicle is not required to report the accident to the Game Committee. If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass. To do so, call the Gaming Commission at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD and the agency dispatcher will gather the information necessary to provide a toll-free permit number.
Resident must call within 24 hours of deer capture. Spinning may also be claimed by a motorist passing through Pennsylvania, if not claimed by the driver whose car was hit.
Those who own deer killed on the road are also advised of the rules regarding chronic wasting disease (CWD) which prohibit the removal of high-risk deer parts – primarily the head and spine. These parts must be removed before deer are moved out of certain areas. For maps of these areas, the full list of high-risk parts and other information about CWD, visit www.pgc.pa.gov.
To report a dead deer for removal from state roads, motorists may call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD
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Avoid animals on the highway
Experts advise motorists to drive at slower speeds wherever and whenever they think animals will be on the move, such as between dusk and dawn. Lau said drivers can reduce their chances of hitting deer by staying alert and having a better understanding of deer behavior. Just paying attention while driving on stretches marked “Deer Crossing” can make a difference.
Brian Webke is an outdoors columnist for the USA TODAY Network in Pennsylvania. Call him firstname.lastname@example.org And sign up for the Go Outdoors PA weekly newsletter on your website homepage under your login name. Follow him on Facebook@tweet