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Tag Archive | "deer"

Michigan drivers beware of deer


 

New data shows odds Michigan drivers will collide with a deer are declining

 

Michigan drivers are more than two percent less likely to collide with a deer in the next 12 months than they were last year, according to new claims data from State Farm. However, the odds that drivers will hit a deer in Michigan in the coming year are 1 out of 94—still above the national odds of 1 in 169.

Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm, the nation’s leading auto insurer, calculates the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months state by state.

More 2014 State Farm deer collisions facts:

  • Michigan is ranked 11th in the country for the most deer collisions
  • The national cost per claim average is $3,888, up 13.9 percent from 2013 when the average was $3,414.
  • The months a driver is most likely to collide with a deer in Michigan, mostly due to mating and hunting seasons, are:
  1. November
  2. October
  3. December
  • For the eighth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where a collision is most likely with 1 in 39 odds. Hawaii rounds out the bottom of the list, also for the eighth year in a row, with 1 in 10,281 odds.

“Whether you live in Pennsylvania or Hawaii, it’s important that drivers are practicing safe driving habits and watching out for animals on the road. Wearing your seat belt and practicing defensive driving tactics could make a significant difference,” says State Farm Spokesperson Angie Rinock.

Avoid becoming a statistic

Injuries, vehicle damage and fatalities all can result from vehicle collisions with deer. In 2012, 175 deaths were the result of collisions with animals, with deer being the animal most often struck, according to the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These tips could help drivers avoid a collision:

  •  Use extra caution in known deer zones
  •  Always wear your seatbelt
  •  At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams
  •  Avoid swerving when you see a deer
  •  Scan the road for deer and other danger signs
  •  Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles

And here are some deer facts that all drivers should know:

  • Deer are on all roads
  • Deer are unpredictable
  • Deer often move in groups
  • Deer movement is most prevalent in the fall
  • Dusk and dawn are high risk times

 

 

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Savor the taste of your deer


Eric Payne with a dandy buck.

Eric Payne with a dandy buck.

by Jack Payne

As daylight finally arrived, the sound of crunching leaves were heard. After much anticipation, a nice deer appeared in the firing lane. Quickly the Ruger M-77 was shouldered and the Leopold scope centered behind the deer shoulder.

That quickly and the season was over. Now the next phase of the work begins. What is the best way to get the deer out of the woods? What needs to be done to protect the great taste?

Starting in the field right after the tagging of your deer becomes the critical time to insure a quality meal. Take your time when gutting the deer to avoid punching a hole into the intestines.

A toboggan works well but a deer cart is much better. We hauled ours through a river, into a swamp, over logs and it always worked great. Center the weight towards the front of the cart for the least amount of work.

Once the deer is home or in camp it is important to clean the cavity thoroughly. A hose or a pail of water to wash out the blood and dirt will pay dividends when the deer hits the frying pan.

If the weather is warm then a couple of ice bags stuffed inside of the cavity will quickly cool down and protect the meat.

Skinning the deer and boning it out helps a lot if it’s warm. Skinning a deer only takes maybe fifteen minutes when the hide is still warm. Quartering the deer or better yet, boning it out and placing it on ice in a cooler will preserve the meat until you are ready to process it.

“Care must be taken with the hide and cape if a mount is desired,” said award-winning taxidermist Charlie Walker. After a deer is shot care must be taken with the head.

“Don’t cut the hide short if a shoulder mount is desired,” said Walker. If not sure then leave it for the processor or for the taxidermist.

Don’t drag the head across the dirt because it’s easy to damage the nose, ears and facial hair. Forget the rope tied around the neck when you hang it up. Hang it from the hind legs will preserve the mount and helps bleed the deer out.

You can butcher your own deer or bring it away. Most places charge around $75 bucks and the meat is frozen and ready for the freezer when you pick it up.

Adding marinade to your meat prior to freezing is the best way to ensure that special taste. This is the best reason for cutting up your own deer. Marinade your meat before freezing will enhance the taste like never before.

Vacuum packing your meat really helps on the shelf life. The bags are reusable and this is a fast way to package your meat as compared to the old way of double wrapping the meat.

Sausage and jerky making is really easy but time consuming. We used to do our own but now we bring it away. Some of the local folks do a fantastic job plus you can get half dozen flavors.

Speaking of fresh venison, nothing tastes better than fresh venison in deer camp.

The sweet aroma of onions and the sound of the mushroom gravy sizzling in the frying pan were welcomed by the entire hunting party.

Fresh as in never frozen is the best. Marinade the tenderloins in Italian salad dressing or use one of the commercial products like the Lowery or Mountain Man marinades. Let it sit over night and sprinkle with Lowery seasoning salt and pepper. Slice up a few onions and sauté’ with butter in a frying pan.

Place the tenderloins in the pan with the onions and sear both sides. Turn down the heat, add two cans of mushroom gravy and let simmer. If fresh mushrooms are available, then throw in a handful.

Fresh K-Bobs is another stand-by meal each season. The best meat comes from the hindquarter. Bone off a few pounds and cut into 1-inch cubes. A marinade of soy sauce or a sweat and sour marinade adds zest to the K-Bob.

A venison stir-fry is fast and very simple to make. Back straps or a chunk of the hindquarter will suffice. Cut into 1 inches wide, three or four inch long strips, an estimated half-inch thick.

Keep you deer cool and clean, marinade your meat prior to vacuum packing and use a few spices. Venison will never taste the same.

 

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Opening day of gun season


OUT-Opening-day-eric-payne-with-a-nice-8-pt-shot-along-a-transition-piece-and-a-wet-ditch-line

by Jack Payne

The countdown has started towards the opening day of gun season for deer. This season I am a bit more pumped up than normal. While archery season did produce a decent buck for me, the rut has not hit high gear like anticipated. Hopefully that changes next week.

Success during gun season encompasses a few additional items of consideration as compared to the archery season. Hunting pressure will greatly increase, some favorite food sources are gone and yes, the rut will factor in.

Our group success rate is way above that of the state. This can be attributed to the location. Location, much like in real estate dictates travel patterns, bedding areas and of prime concern, safety locations.

A nice buck will hole up in any type of cover that offers protection. In southern Michigan a one acre cattail swale, a small impenetrable thicket, a small group or trees out in the middle of a field, a deep ditch line with tall grass or a dense stand of pines can hide a deer.

Water is a great safety net. My favorite location has lots of water. On the worst years I needed hip boots to get into the small dry island. Most years knee high boots will work.

What a deer really wants is a location that they can either see danger coming to them or hear danger approaching. With water they can hear noise well before danger can reach them. A spot out in the open they can use their eyes and nose. A thick briar patch or a thick stand of pines they can hear and smell danger approaching.

Locating a likely spot that offers protection is the first step. Figuring out how to get there and how to hunt it is two other items of concern. Get there early is the first step. Try and get into your sweet spot well before daylight. You want to be seated before other hunters start pushing deer towards your cover.

Prune out a few lanes to shoot through. You need to see and determine if a tree is best or the ground. I sit on the ground. I listen, I wait and most often I see a piece of a deer long before I see a full deer. Then wait, wait for the deer to move into a lane.

Another consideration that we use is the location of other hunters. Where will the other hunter be? How will they get into and out of their spot. Let other hunters work to your advantage. Most hunters hunt 2-3 hours and then take a break.

You should plan on sitting from dark to dark. Carry in your lunch, extra cloths and possibly a book. I can’t read but my son does and he shoots nice bucks. Other hunters will spook deer walking in and out. Deer will run and hide anywhere and once it calms down return to their best security areas where hopefully you are sitting.

In the UP, where I will be for the opener, our best spot is huge. It covers hundreds of acres so we hunt tight to the cover, in a transition area, and catch the deer entering or leaving the sanctuary. We know where every other hunter sits; we know the location of the best available food source and the most likely direction that the deer will travel.

And then we sit. Some years we will see 2-3 bucks, some years only one. It only takes one to complete your hunt except when targeting a large rack. We have multiple stands in the same general area to contend with shifting wind patterns and the change from morning and evening travels.

When we hunt at home, in southern Michigan, we normally have one stand location for the entire day. We wait for the deer to arrive or leave. We shot a deer that we watched bed down that took hours before a shoot was available.

With the rut running later than expected, you will see bucks still on the roam. If pressured, they still will rut but under the security of thick cover, isolated pockets overlooked or under darkness.

My son shot his best buck to date late during the gun season, just before dark, as it left one small thicket and was heading into the next thicket only 50 yards away. His nose was to the ground and grunting when shot.

Patience, hunting spots where others will not travel, considering the effects of hunting pressure and deer travel routes, will place deer into your sight path. Security cover and access are the two primary areas of concern followed by patience. Good luck during the gun season.

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Deer-vehicle collisions decline


State farm® survey shows trend more pronounced in nation’s midsection

N-deer-collisionsThe odds that an individual driver in the United States will crash into a deer during the next year have declined by 4.3 percent. Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm, the nation’s leading auto insurer, calculates the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 174, compared with 1 in 167 the year before.*

Among the 41 states where these confrontations are most likely, Michigan had the fourth largest descent (11.4 percent), dropping from 8th last year (likelihood of hitting a deer 1 in 81), to 10th place this year (likelihood 1 in 92).

According to the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition, there is an average of 134 deer/vehicle crashes in the Great Lake State every day. In 2012, Oakland County had the most deer/vehicle crashes, with 1,682, followed by Kent, Jackson, Montcalm, Lapeer, Ingham, Clinton, Ottawa, Huron and Eaton.

Kent County had 1,572 deer/vehicle crashes in 2012, down from 1,750 the year before. Montcalm had 1,182 in 2012, down from 1,340 in 2011.

For the seventh year in a row, deer-vehicle confrontations are most probable in West

Virginia. The chances of any single licensed driver in that state hitting a deer between now and a year from now are 1 in 41. That’s an 8.3 percent improvement from the West Virginia likelihood ratio of a year ago. Montana, (1 in 65) remains second on the likelihood list. Iowa (1 in 73) moves up one spot to third. South Dakota (1 in 75) drops from third to fourth. Pennsylvania (1 in 77) is still fifth. In each of the top five states, the probability of a deer-related collision for any given vehicle is less than

it was a year ago.

The state in which deer-vehicle mishaps are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 6,787). The odds of a driver in Hawaii colliding with a deer between now and 12 months from now are approximately equal to the odds of a middle-of-the-pack National Football League team running off 13 wins in a row.

Counting u.s. deer-vehicle confrontations

State Farm estimates 1.22 million collisions caused by the presence of deer between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, a 3.5 percent decrease from a year ago.

And while the number of deer-related collisions in the U.S. over the last five years has increased by 2.0 percent, when you account for the increase in the number of drivers on the nation’s roadways over that period, the likelihood of a deer/vehicle confrontation has dropped 2.5 percent.

“This data is encouraging,” said Chris Mullen, Director-Strategic Resources. “We would like to think the attention we call to this issue each fall has had an impact. Obviously there are other factors at play as well.”

When do deer-vehicle collisions occur?

State Farm’s data shows that November, the heart of the deer hunting and mating seasons, is the month during which deer-vehicle encounters are most likely. Approximately 18 percent of all such mishaps take place during the 30 days of November. Deer-vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between February 1st and August 31st. October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third.

The average property damage cost of these incidents during the final half of 2012 and the

first half of 2013 was $3,414, up 3.3 percent from the year before.

Avoiding deer-vehicle mishaps

Here are tips from the Insurance Information Institute on how to reduce the odds of a deer/vehicle confrontation:

Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.

Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.

Remember that deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.

Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.

If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Don’t rely on car-mounted deer whistles.

* A refinement in the process State Farm uses to adjust its number of deer-vehicle collisions to account for those involving drivers not insured by State Farm caused the number of deer-vehicle collisions reported a year ago to be overstated by 1.2 percent countrywide (more in some states, less in others). Thus, comparisons between data we provided a year ago and data in this news release should not be made. Links to the corrected numbers for last year (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012) are provided.

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Black Jack, 21 tips to a better deer season


_OUT-Jack-Payne-nice-buck-walking-under-the-treeBy Jack Payne

 

The perfectly quiet morning silence was broken by the slightest splash from behind. Slowly a small group of deer was entering the swamp from the oak forest. As the deer filed by each decided to cross the creek in front of me and then cross the creek a few yards down stream. The last deer in the group wore headgear. Pulling back the PSE bow and placing the Nikon red dot on the chest cavity the arrow was released. The Muzzy broad head did the trick and the buck was down within 50 yards.

Talk to the folks that get a deer each year or close to it and a number of items pop up that spells success. The majority of the work is done prior to the actual hunt. To me the work is fun.

1) Scouting should be fun and an easy way is by the seat of your pants. My daughter and I take rides around the general areas that I plan to hunt. Carrying a camera captures many great photos. As a bonus I often find new turkey locations as well.

2) Hunters need to tune up their bows, sight in their rifles and practice well before the opener. Get the bow tuned and shoot a few arrows through a paper test before the opener. Shoot a dozen shots through the rifle to get reacquainted with the gun. Archery hunters should practice each day or every other day. Shooting 1-3 dozen arrows each time pays huge dividends. I shoot my broad heads when practicing.

3) Equipment needs vary for each hunter. I experiment during the summer with new products and found a few items that I would not hunt without again. A long rope to pull up your weapon. A high quality safety harness and a lightweight portable rain gear are a must.

4) Locating a hot location is key. Don’t hunt memories or locations that have worn down trails with no fresh tracks. Some runs will look worn down years after any use.

Locating that special spot takes a bit if work. Tie thread across any runway that shows promise. Keep it two feet above the ground. Often when a deer breaks the thread the ends point in the direction that the deer are traveling. After tying thread over a dozen potential runs and verifying which runs have had the thread broken, it’s time for the orange survey ribbon.

Follow each runway 100-300 yards marking the run on occasion. Hang the ribbon up high for easy visibility. Wherever two runs cross mark with a few extra pieces of ribbon. You will be amazed at how often two hot looking runs either merge or end up fairly close to each other.

5) Crop fields are always a prime area to spot deer. They can be hard to hunt because of the openness and various entry points. Often the hunting is better when staying away from the field edges by 50-100 yards.

Fence rolls and drainage ditches are prime traveling routes. A key location will be where they meet the main woods. This is especially true in the farm belt areas where cover is sparse.

6) Hunt the corners of the small woodlots for best action. I try to sit 5-10 yards from the field edges when hunting small woodlots. This gives you a chance to shoot at two edges of the field and still get a good shot behind you.

7) Hunt the oaks when the acorns drop. This was perhaps my number one mistake over the years. I hunt swamps and left the oaks alone. Now I hunt the swamps and bedding areas early in the season but keep a constant watch for the trees dropping the most acorns. If you don’t have oaks then hunt the prevailing food source that is at its’ peak.

8) Hunters need multiple stands to cover wind direction, hunter pressure and to keep the stands fresh. We set numerous stands and have one ready to back pack in.

9) An additional tip that I use is setting up with the sun at your back when possible. Whenever possible I try to set my stand so that a traveling deer will have the sun in their eyes. This might mean that a good run will be hunted where it makes a bend or travels around some obstacle. Better the deer with the sun in their eyes than the hunter squinting while attempting a shot.

10) Prescription sunglasses really help me out. I use the yellow tinted color lenses because they gather the most light under low light conditions.

11) I love pine and cedar trees. These are the easiest trees to hide in and offer a great place to hang a daypack. An oak tree with multiple limbs is the next best bet. Use the natural cover to help conceal your location regardless if you hunt from a tree or from the ground.

12) I hunt the ground 100% with a gun and maybe 20% with a bow. A thick group of pines or cedars works great. Sit in the thick stuff maybe 3-5 feet and prune out a few shooting windows. Thick cattails also work well and are used with great success. The sound of sucking muck or water will tip you off that a deer is close.

13) This brings up the next location to concentrate on. Hunt bottleneck areas. Hunt areas where the terrain forces the deer to pass through a narrow spot.  A river or a creek often can be used as a funnel. Two ponds or a pond and a stream within 100-200 yards of each other are one of my favorites.

Fences can be great. Walking slowly along a fence will often show an area where the deer prefer to cross. Hair on the fence or a section where the fence is bent down is a sure give a way.

14) Hunters need good cover and attraction scent. If you don’t stink the deer are less apt to smell you. I use one of the scent eliminator spray products and a mixture of vanilla and water. I spray every thing before heading into the woods and at least once during the hunt.

Cover scent is critical and is practiced by a number of hunters. Carry it one step further than the rest. Keep your cloths in a plastic bag. I throw in fresh leaves each time out as well. Spray your cloths, hats and gloves and then your heads, boots and hands.

15) Wear rubber knee high boots and keeps a change of cloths in your vehicle. I repeat, never go into a restaurant or store with your hunting cloths on.

Scent control also includes clothing. Scent gathering suits can easily be the last link for total coverage.

16) Mock scrapes can work and the best scrapes are started before the season starts. Like anything it takes some planning and not every spot will produce. Locate a good runway near a bedding area and make up a scrape. Add some of your favorite scent and check back in a week. Make sure that you have a licking branch above your scrape. Tinks and Buck Fever are my two favorites.

17) Use a deer call. I like a deer call that makes fawn bleats, doe grunts and rutting grunts. Hunters Specialties carries the True Talker that is hands free. This is critical for the bow hunter. Blow on the small mouthpiece and stop the deer dead in it’s tracks without using your hands or getting the call in the way of the shot.

18) During the rut hunt the does. The bucks will find the does and this is the easiest way to a shot. Once again locating a bedding or feeding area that the does are using is the prime area to hunt.

19) If you located a bedding area then hunt there during the mid-day hours. This is especially true during the gun season. Without a doubt my hunting party has shot more bucks between 10:00 am and 3:00 p.m. than any other time.

20) Use other hunters to your advantage. Identify where hunters will enter the woods and use their movement to help push deer to you. When scouting I carry along some papers and make a rough map. Mark down the runway locations, the two tracks and any blinds or stands that you run across.

Part of my success comes from knowing where other hunters will be and how they will enter the woods.

21) Be in the woods when the weather changes. If it rained hard all morning and now is letting up, hustle to your favorites feeding location. High winds and heavy rains will change the patterns of the deer. The same applies just before a big storm blows in.

Deer can sense when a storm is coming and if they will be down for a few days. Just prior, regardless of the time they will be feeding. Most of our bucks shot after opening day have fallen during this type of condition.

Following the twenty-one tips and paying close attention to small details will dramatically increase your deer sightings. Archery or gun, staying focused will pay dividends. All it takes is one well-placed shot to enjoy some fresh tenderloin in mushroom gravy this season.

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Protecting your landscape from wildlife damage


DIG-Protect-lawn-from-wildlifeby Melinda Myers

 

They’re cute, they’re furry and they love to eat – your landscape that is.  If you are battling with rabbits, deer, groundhogs or other wildlife, don’t give up.  And if you are lucky enough to be wildlife-free at the moment, be vigilant and prepared to prevent damage before these beautiful creatures move into your landscape to dine.

Anyone who has battled wildlife knows the frustration and difficulty involved in controlling them. Your best defense is a fence. A four-foot-high fence anchored tightly to the ground will keep out rabbits. Five-foot high fences around small garden areas will usually keep out deer. They seem to avoid these small confined spaces. The larger the area the more likely deer will enter. Woodchucks are more difficult. They will dig under or climb over the fence. You must place the fence at least 12 inches below the soil surface with 4 to 5 feet above the ground. Make sure gates are also secured from animals.

Some communities allow electric fences that provide a slight shock to help keep deer out of the landscape. Another option is the wireless deer fence. The system uses plastic posts with wire tips charged by AA batteries. The plastic tip is filled with a deer attractant.  When the deer nuzzles the tip it gets a light shock, encouraging it to move on to other feeding grounds.

Scare tactics have been used for many years. Motion sensitive sprinklers, blow up owls, clanging pans and rubber snakes strategically placed around a garden may help scare away unwanted critters. Unfortunately urban animals are used to noise and may not be alarmed. Move and alternate the various scare tactics for more effective control.  The animals won’t be afraid of an owl that hasn’t moved in two weeks.

Homemade and commercial repellents can also be used. Make sure they are safe to use on food crops if treating fruits and vegetables. You’ll have the best results if applied before the animals start feeding. It is easier to prevent damage than break old feeding patterns. Look for natural products like those found in Messina Wildlife’s Animal Stopper line. They are made of herbs and smell good, so they repel animals without repelling you and your guests.

Live trapping can be inhumane and should be a last option. Babies can be separated from their parents, animals can be released in unfamiliar territory, and trapped animals can suffer from heat and a lack of food and water. Plus, once you catch the animal, you need to find a place to release it. The nearby parks, farms and forests already have too many of their own animals and therefore they don’t want yours.

The key to success is variety, persistence, and adaptability. Watch for animal tracks, droppings and other signs that indicate wildlife have moved into your area. Apply repellents and install scare tactics and fencing before the animals begin feeding. Try a combination of tactics, continually monitor for damage and make changes as needed.  And when you feel discouraged, remember that gardeners have been battling animals in the garden long before us.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV and radio segments and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ web site, www.melindamyers.com, features gardening videos, gardening tips, podcasts, and more.    

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NRC expands deer hunting territory for the fall


Hunters will have a little more territory to hunt for antlerless deer this fall as the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) opened a few more deer management units (DMUs) in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula at its regular monthly meeting Thursday in Lansing.
Newly opened DMUs reflect increased deer populations in those areas, explained Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph. The DNR will seek low quotas for the newly opened DMUs, Rudolph said.

A total of 72 DMUs will be open to antlerless deer hunting on public land, and 86 DMUs, plus the two multi-county DMUs in the Lower Peninsula (DMUs 486 and 487), will be open on private land. A complete list of open DMUs and their quotas will be published shortly in the 2012 Antlerless Deer Hunting Digest.

Antlerless deer license applications go on sale July 15 at all license agents and online at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings.

In addition, the NRC voted to restrict hunters in DMUs 486 and 487 to a maximum of 10 private land antlerless licenses this season, a decrease from five per day in 2011.

Special statewide hunts for youth and 100 percent disabled veterans will be held Sept. 22-23. The early antlerless season on private land in portions of the Lower Peninsula is being reduced from five days to two, also Sept. 22-23.
“There have been increasing concerns from some members of the hunting public that the recent expansion of September hunting is causing deer to be more wary during the traditional seasons,” Rudolph said. “By reducing and consolidating the September seasons, we’re addressing those concerns while maintaining opportunities for youth and disabled hunters throughout the state and for early harvest of antlerless deer on private land where it is most needed.”

In addition, the NRC changed conditions on special crop-damage permits in accordance with recent legislation. Public Act 65 of 2012 allows up to 15 authorized shooters on Deer Damage Shooting Permits. In the past, special authorization was required to allow more than three shooters to be designated per permit.

In other action, the NRC reaffirmed that naturally shed deer and elk antlers may be legally collected, possessed and sold.

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Kent City man killed in crash


A 22-year-old man was killed last Friday morning, November 11, when his pickup truck veered off the road and hit a tree.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Kyle Anthony Nota, of Casnovia, was traveling west on 17 Mile Road near Tyrone Avenue about 1 a.m. when the accident occurred. Nota was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, it appeared Nota swerved to avoid hitting a deer and went off the road. He is the second man to be killed in this type of accident in the last couple of weeks.
On October 28, a Solon Township man also died in a car-deer accident. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Randall Scott Thomas, 48, of Solon Township, was driving a 2005 Caravan north on Pine Island Drive about 4 a.m. in Algoma Township, when he hit a deer just north of Rector. Police said that after striking the deer, Thomas appears to have lost control of the vehicle. He veered off the west side of the road and struck a tree, which caused the fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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He topped it!



Last week we featured a photo of a deer in the woods, by publisher Lois Allen, on the front page. She asked readers, “Can you top this?” Cedar Springs resident Ed Bremmer took that challenge to heart and gave us three photos, including this cute photo of a doe and her triplet fawns. The kicker is that it was taken right here in the city limits! Click here to see the other two photos he sent.

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More deer photos


Ed Bremmer, of Cedar Springs, sent us this photo of a deer and one of her fawns, taken right here in Cedar Springs. The other photo, though a little out of focus, shows something rare—a piebald deer. Less than 5 percent of Michigan’s deer population are piebalds, which have a brown and white spotting pattern. He said that photo was taken somewhere in Solon Township.

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