Deer strikes down in 2010

  • Follow Metro

Columbia County drivers might be getting better -- or perhaps the deer are getting smarter.

Crash-prone Columbia County, which ranks among Georgia's top deer-vehicle accident areas, recorded an 8.1 percent decline in deer strikes in 2010, county Animal Services said.   Rob Pavey/Staff
Rob Pavey/Staff
Crash-prone Columbia County, which ranks among Georgia's top deer-vehicle accident areas, recorded an 8.1 percent decline in deer strikes in 2010, county Animal Services said.

Whatever the reason, deer-vehicle crashes appear to be declining, based on the number of road-killed carcasses recovered by county officials this year.

"In 2009 we impounded 642 deceased deer and in 2010 we have impounded just 590 deceased deer," said Daniel Mayne, the field operations superviser for the county's Animal Services Department. That amounts to an 8.1 percent drop.

Columbia County's numerous subdivisions linked by commuter routes jutting into rural whitetail habitat make the area one of state's riskiest communities for deer-vehicle accidents, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The department's analysis of the more than 10,000 deer accidents reported statewide each year shows Columbia County has an accident rate of 35.9 to 49.1 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That range is almost four times the state average, which ranges from 9.6 to 12.3.

Richmond County's accident rate ranges from 8.5 to 11.1, below the state average.

According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, which uses law enforcement motor vehicle reports to track deer accidents, there were 10,793 such accidents in 2009, which included 737 injuries and seven fatalities.

The decrease in road-killed deer in Columbia County corresponds with a State Farm Insurance report issued in September, in which the odds of striking a deer in Georgia during the next 12 months were calculated at 1 in 205, compared with 1 in 194 the previous year.

State Farm ranked Georgia as a "medium risk" state that is close to the national average of 1 in 208.

South Carolina, by comparison, was among the "high risk" states, with accident odds of 1 in 153.

Hawaii was ranked as the nation's least likely place to hit a deer, with odds of just 1 in 9,932, the report said.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
grinder48
2038
Points
grinder48 12/29/10 - 05:00 pm
0
0
It's because the deer
Unpublished

It's because the deer population is being decimated by coyotes!

Sweet son
11072
Points
Sweet son 12/29/10 - 05:04 pm
0
0
grinder, or by builders.

grinder, or by builders.

Rob Pavey
552
Points
Rob Pavey 12/29/10 - 05:55 pm
0
0
I agree with grinder48 -

I agree with grinder48 - coyotes are eating a lot of fawns each spring. The upside is that the coyotes also help keep feral cats in check, which saves a lot of songbirds, snakes and frogs.

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 12/29/10 - 06:30 pm
0
0
There are definitely fewer

There are definitely fewer deer about.

Limits are too high.

Coyotes are definitely plentiful.

Populations were still in late spring, so coyotes get the vote here for being the culprits.

Deer sightings while hunting were the lowest for this hunter since the late 1970's.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 12/30/10 - 10:48 am
0
0
Maybe it is the Darwin

Maybe it is the Darwin effect. The smarter deer don't get hit and they reproduce and teach their fawns not to get hit and so on. I'm not serious. Kind of. Maybe a little.

grinder48
2038
Points
grinder48 12/30/10 - 11:07 am
0
0
Hey Rob - Agree but while the
Unpublished

Hey Rob - Agree but while the coyotes are killing feral cats, they're also killing and eating anything they can catch, especially ground nesters like turkey and quail, rabbits, etc. Not sure but would bet they'd eat a song bird, snake, or frog in a heartbeat too. In line with what "Many Arrows" wrote, I've spent countless hours afield for the past 40+ years and have seen far fewer deer and turkey in past 2 years in places where they've been very plentiful before ... and see much coyote scat in these areas. Do you know if the DNR is doing anything - or planning to TRY to do anything - about the coyote problem?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Court rules in probation case

ATLANTA -- The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision this morning concluding that it is legal for local courts to contract with private companies to supervise offenders on probation for minor ...
Search Augusta jobs