A problem that is getting a great deal of press in the past few years is the dangers these deer pose to motorists. In fact more than 1.5 million accidents involving deer occur every year nation wide, and this number is on the rise. These accidents cause over one billion dollars in damages. Accidents like this have become the number one cause of car accidents. When a vehicle hits a deer, the car, people, and the deer can be harmed. Over 10,000 people are injured every year in accidents involving deer. This causes insurance rates to rise in the area. This is not the only way hunters help economically you see no other source helps wildlife management like hunters who pay the cost of much of the bills for wildlife management by buying a license. The local community benefits from hunters buying hunting equipment; hotels fill rooms with traveling hunters, restaurants sale food. You see it is a winning venture for all involved. So that covers the money end of the subject now let’s look at other reasons to watch the numbers.
Illness is another big reason to worry about herd density. The over population of animals facilitates the spread of illness, due to the fact that the animals are congregating in larger groups allowing for more animals to be infected. In Kentucky right now we are having a problem with an illness known as EHD, or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease this is passed by gnats, and midges that bite the deer. This is usually fatal most deer die within 72 hours. Due to the drought and the dense numbers of animals at watering holes the illness is taking a toll on the herd in certain areas. Relief will not come until the first good frost. In times such as this it is good to know what areas are loosing numbers so you can find better populated areas to hunt. Constant Wasting Disease a progressive ailment that attacks the nervous system is another disease that is affecting elk, and deer. The numbers, and areas that the disease has been found is useful information. The disease was first recognized in the late 60’s, and extensive testing commenced in 1997. As the name reflects the animal literally withers away due to excessive salivation, excessive urination. The animal eventually dies from this disease caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. The density of the herd can greatly affect the spread of these diseases. Knowing the areas, and numbers of animals affected is useful information for anyone concerned about the species.
In the wild we are not the only animals that seek nourishment from the Deer, Elk, and the other species we hunt. This is a reason to watch the density numbers of other predators in the area like Coyote. The need to control the number of predators in an area is important to insure a proper balance of the eco system. Again too much of a population growth can cause problems. In this case it puts added stress on the animals, the death of the animals from predator attacks hurts the hunting. The plus side is it opens the door to hunting opportunities for hunters to hunt animals like coyote, and bobcats. This again proves the point that the hunter is the best tool for conservation that the Department of Fish and Game has at their disposal. Knowing the density number of the area helps the hunter to find the game, and then help manage the numbers by thinning the numbers, or in this case the competition.
I know many are saying that is a great deal of research to find these numbers, well in the day of personal computers, and the internet it is only a few hours on the web searching Fish and Game Departments for information. Each state has one, and many websites like this one has the same information to help you find areas of high density. Contact family in other areas to see if they know of high density spots, and in some cases you may even hear of areas like this in the paper as the Fish and Game tries to draw hunters to the areas by posting information in the papers. You see it pays off to know the numbers so don’t just hunt the same old areas research the numbers to better your odds of filling the freezer, and conserve the sport of hunting. The hunter is the best tool for the job of controlling the herds. Anti – Hunting groups can’t understand that the hunter is the reason the animal population stay healthy. They are the force behind true conservation.
Numbers concerning car accidents are from www.Car-Accidents.com