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Tag Archive | "deer"

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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Strike a pose


Hunters seek them while drivers try to avoid them. Post publisher Lois Allen stopped and took a “shot” at this young deer while riding as a passenger in a friend’s vehicle in Spencer township last week. He seems to have no fear of cars or cameras as he poses for his front page picture. Can you top this picture? Get a great pic and send it to us at news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Special deer hunts on tap for youths, disabled veterans


The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters as the early antlerless firearm season concludes, a deer season continues for some people with a pair of special hunts.
Tuesday (Sept. 20) through Friday, Sept. 23, youth hunters 10 through 16 years of age may hunt antlerless deer only in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 486. DMU 486 includes the majority of southern Michigan with the exception of four counties on the southeastern edge of the peninsula – Monroe (DMU 058), Wayne (DMU 082), Macomb (DMU 050), and St. Clair (DMUs 074 and 174). For a map of DMU 486, see the 2011 Antlerless Deer Hunting Digest, which is also available at www.michigan.gov/deer. The bag limit during this special early season is one antlerless deer per antlerless license.
Following the early antlerless youth season, there will be a statewide youth and disabled veterans hunt this weekend, Sept. 24-25. A firearm or combination deer hunting license is valid for either an antlered or an antlerless deer during this special season. Veterans must be determined to be 100 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to be eligible to participate in the Sept. 24-25 season.
All hunters are required to wear hunter orange during these seasons.
The recently adopted Hunter Heritage Act extended the opportunity for hunters 10 through 13 years of age to hunt on private land with a firearm deer license, junior combination deer license or antlerless license—if they have successfully completed hunter education training, or with an apprentice hunting license. In any case, the youngster must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other adult designated by the parent or guardian. The change is not reflected in the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Digest, as the publication went to press before the law was changed. Youth ages 10-13 can hunt with archery and crossbow equipment on both public and private lands, and those age 14-16 may hunt with archery, crossbow or firearm equipment on both public and private lands.
To see which DMUs still have antlerless licenses available, visit www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings.
For more information on these hunts, check the 2010 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest or visit www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting.

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2010 firearm deer season harvest estimates similar to last year


Initial estimates suggest Michigan firearm deer hunters killed about the same number of deer statewide this year as in 2009, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE). Reports regarding deer harvest ranged widely, from significant increases in some locations to declines in others, potentially a result of concentration of deer around the excellent mast crops available this fall.
DNRE biologists estimate the harvest compared to 2009 was unchanged to up perhaps as much as 10 percent in both the Upper Peninsula and the Southern Lower Peninsula and down 5 to 15 percent in the Northern Lower Peninsula. Deer from throughout the state were reported to be in good condition, as indicated by improvements in antler development in all regions compared to last year.
As expected, with the mild conditions experienced in the winter of 2009-2010, deer numbers in both northern regions look to be recovering from the effects of prior winters. But hunter numbers appeared down – particularly on public land statewide – likely due to the opening day of the firearm season falling on a Monday this year.
“Most deer hunters support maintaining the traditional season dates of Nov. 15 through 30, but we consistently see a drop in hunter numbers in those years that the season opens on a Monday,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “This may need to be a topic for discussion as we move to form Regional Deer Advisory Teams and engage our conservation partners to discuss long-range management goals.”
“Antlerless quotas were set the same or lower in the Upper Peninsula and western portion of the Northern Lower Peninsula, but we emphasized the need for hunters to take does in the eastern portion of the Northern Lower Peninsula and much of the Southern Lower Peninsula,” said DNRE Deer Program Leader Brent Rudolph. “Efforts to control bovine tuberculosis in deer continue in the Northeastern Lower Peninsula. Although deer numbers appear stable over the last few years in much of the Southern Lower Peninsula, they’re still higher than we’d like to see in many places.”
Rudolph emphasized that the preliminary estimates will be replaced by final figures of harvest and participation generated by the annual mail survey completed once all deer seasons are concluded. Preliminary estimates last year suggested a decline of 10 to 20 percent from the prior season harvest, and the final mail survey results reflected a drop of 19.8 percent in the firearm kill.
For more information about hunting opportunities in Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/hunting or for additional information about deer go to www.michigan.gov/deer.

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