Hmmm, let’s check this out. A recent Friends of Animals press release states that “this first-of-a-kind survey represents a thorough analysis” of deer/auto collisions. They say their survey shows that deer/auto collisions increase in October, November, and December.
Okay, we already knew that. And every hunter I know understands that during the deer rutting period, deer move more than at any other time. This behavior takes place in hunted — and unhunted — areas. But the Friends feel “that hunters actually contribute to the increase in deer/auto collisions serving as agents provocateurs who, by their presence and activities in deer habitat, incite the deer to incautious, evasive actions resulting in collisions.”
Obviously, this new survey did not consider telemetry studies of deer during hunting season that show that hunters rarely push deer out of their home ranges. The suggestion that hunters cause deer to run madly onto highways and certain death are also unfounded. So, let’s take this one step further. If hunters are causing deer to take to the highways, then stopping all hunting will lead to a dramatic drop in deer-auto collisions in October, November, and December. Right? Definitely not. If that’s the argument, then most citizens, as well as rutting whitetails, don’t understand where the Friends of Animals are going with this one.
From our March-April 2003 issue.