We need to reduce deer-car accidents

The New York State Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee should focus on the cumulative ecological, economic and human suffering impact of whitetail deer, and not intentionally restrict the number of hunters (and deer harvest), as reported in Will Elliott’s article on crossbows. It needs to concentrate on the frequency of deer-car accidents and coordinate the programs that would reduce these events. Of the 80,000 deer-car accidents that will occur in New York during 2013 (calculated by State Farm Insurance), some will result in injuries to the car’s occupants, and a few will result in human fatalities. Economically, if we assume that the average car repair is $2,000 per accident, the financial impact is $160 million in just New York. The ecological damage caused by deer is well documented.

While drunken driving enforcement is making the public highways safer, we are completely ignoring another threat to innocent drivers – whitetail deer. The DEC apparently recognizes this in its push to get more hunters in the field. The Assembly has an obligation to serve the public good, and should not wilfully neglect the safety of the general public for the recreational benefit of a few bowhunters.

Glenn Wygant