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Record number of deer crashes in N.C., officials say

Posted October 1, 2009

— Vehicle crashes involving deer rose to an all-time high in North Carolina in 2008, despite an overall drop in the total number of wrecks and miles driven, officials said Thursday.

A new study from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill found that crashes reported to police involving deer on state roadways increased from 19,277 in 2007 to 19,693. In that same period, total reported crashes fell from 224,307 to 214,358, and vehicle miles traveled dropped by 2 percent.

Deer were involved in 9.2 percent of reported wrecks last year, up from 8.6 percent in 2007.

"Deer crashes continue to be a growing concern for motorists in North Carolina," David Harkey, director of the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, said in a statement. "Since 2004, we've seen a 27 percent increase in deer-related crashes, while total crashes during the same period decreased by 7 percent."

Wake County topped the list, with 1,084 deer-related crashes. Other counties with high numbers of deer crashes in 2008 include Guilford, Rockingham, Duplin, Pitt and Mecklenburg.

About half of deer-related wrecks occur in October, November and December, Harkey said. Deer are particularly restless and agitated during these months due to mating season and locating new food resources, he said.

Drivers should be particularly careful in the early morning and early evening hours, Harkey said, noting almost 80 percent of deer-related crashes last year occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.


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  • lizard Oct 2, 2009

    Clover1019 outlines succinctly what the left stands for - less quality of life for humans because animals "were here first." They relish in the fact that our economy is being destroyed and while they say they want us to use less gas they suggest we drive longer distances to get the items that help us live our lives and help create a demand so others will have a job. They elevate "the animal" to a higher level than humans and then argue they're sensitive and caring. These people need to move back to NY city. We're better off w/o them and so are we w/o therir perverted priorities.

  • ContinuityMan Oct 2, 2009

    Did anyone else think of this Simpsons clip when reading this story?


    "A deer!"

    "A /female/ deer."

  • dazrite Oct 2, 2009

    The FAA has a long running NOTAM (Notice to Airmen), more than 20 years now, for Raleigh Durham Airport. DEER ON THE RUNWAY. When a deer incident happens there...it wont be just the deer that's killed.

    Over 19,000 deer related crashes in one year. They should have told how many HUMANS lost their lives...or worse.

  • ContinuityMan Oct 2, 2009

    Let's reintroduce gray wolves into the area. That ought to keep the deer population down /and/ please a eco-freaks at the same time!

  • greywolf30 Oct 2, 2009

    kill them shoot them on sight 24/7

  • clover1019 Oct 2, 2009

    An increase of the hunting season is not the answer a decrease of building and clearing land IS! we need to stop taking away their homes...theirs along with all other wildlife. All you people complaining about deer should realize we are in THEIR space; not the other way around. I am glad new building construction has somewhat come to a halt due to this economy. A HUGE example is the Best Buy that is across from Walmart at Brier creek. are you SERIOUS! a whole new shopping center when Brier creek cant keep tennants in their buildings? the Lowes/bens place shopping center across from my house has been open for YEARS with only half of the lots filled. Its rediculous. Get off your lazy behind and drive down to the Crabtree store.
    Deer...Im on your side!!

  • workingforthosethatwont Oct 2, 2009

    Dwindling habitat, searching for food, curiousity are all valid points. Extending the season is not.
    It is simply solved by raising the limit to 15 deer, any sex, for two or three years.

  • pinehorse Oct 1, 2009

    The NC Wildlife Commission tried to help out by legalizing crossbows for hunters this season and legalizing Sunday's for bowhunting only. Problem was that even certain groups of hunters were against those measures. A bowhunters group in Greensboro thinks that all bowhunters should shoot only hand-held bows and the deer hound crowd didn't want somebody doing something on Sunday that they couldn't do. Bottom line is a landowner should be able to do anything he or she wants to, as long as the state's biologists give it the o.k. North Carolina's sportsmen are their own worst enemy.

  • oldschooltarheel Oct 1, 2009

    Loss of habitat both for the deer to forage & for the hunters to safely hunt is the problem. It is much better for the herd to be selectively hunted but the encroaching subdivisions limit safe hunting. Deer do well in a number of environments - suburban vegetation supplements their usual forage nicely - as does a corn or soybean field.

  • lizard Oct 1, 2009

    Just a tad bit of knowledge for everyone that believes it's us infringing on their space,,,,the deer herd in NC is about 6 to 7 times greater now than in the 60's. Very few deer back then comparatively speaking.

    Get ready because the bear population is headed the same way. We'll be fighting those things on the way to work in about 10 years.