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Daily Archives: October 15, 2015

Deer-vehicle crashes increase in fall

 

Mating season and the quest for more secure habitat have deer on the move this time of year, increasing the chances of vehicle collisions. Typically, the greatest occurrence of deer-vehicle crashes is in mid-November when the rut, or mating season, peaks.

 

“In addition to the rut, deer are also on the move in mid-fall seeking new locations as crops are harvested and leaves fall from trees and shrubs, leaving them less secure than in their summer habitats,” said Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism biologist Lloyd Fox.

 

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, 15 percent of Kansas crashes last year were deer-related (crashes in which a deer and vehicle actually collided or the presence of a deer was a contributing circumstance). Although crashes involving deer occur throughout the year in every Kansas county, the highest number of crashes typically occur where there are the most vehicles. Sedgwick County had 422 deer-vehicle crashes in 2014, the most of any county.

 

The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) cautions drivers to avoid taking extra-ordinary measures to avoid striking a deer in the road, lest a bad situation become even worse.

 

“If you are unfortunate enough to have a deer enter the highway in front of your car, it is best to hit the animal and not swerve to avoid it,” said the KHP’s Lt. Adam Winters. “Often we find more serious crashes occur when you swerve in avoidance.”

 

Other tips to avoid deer collisions include:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are particularly active.
  • Watch for more than one deer, as they seldom travel alone.
  • Reduce speed and be alert near wooded areas or green spaces such as parks or golf courses and near water sources such as streams or ponds.
  • Deer crossing signs show where high levels of deer/vehicle crashes have occurred in the past.
  • Use your bright lights to help you detect deer as far ahead as possible.
  • Always wear a seat belt and use appropriate child safety seats. Even if you are waiting in your car, it is best to wear your seat belt, and have your children in car seats.

 

If you do hit a deer, here are some additional tips:

  • Don’t worry about the animal. Law enforcement will arrange to have the animal removed from the road when they arrive. Tell law enforcement dispatch if the deer is still in the road when reporting the crash call.
  • If possible, remain in the vehicle, and remain buckled up, protecting yourself in the event there is a secondary crash involving another vehicle.
  • If you must be outside your vehicle, stand as far off the road as possible; make sure hazard lights are activated; don’t stand between your vehicle and another vehicle; and make sure children are kept properly restrained in your vehicle.
  • If you hit a deer, slow down, pull onto the shoulder and turn on the emergency flashers.

 

To report a crash on Kansas highways from a cellular phone, call *47 (*HP) for a highway patrol dispatcher or *582 (*KTA) for assistance on the Kansas Turnpike. The crash can also be reported by dialing 911.

Youth shooting sports clinic planned

 

Youth age 11-16 are invited to attend a fun and friendly shotgun and archery shooting and safety clinic on Saturday, October 24 at Council Grove Reservoir. This special event is part of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s “Pass It On” program and will provide participants with opportunities to enhance firearm and archery shooting and safety skills, in a controlled, safe environment. There is no cost to attend and all equipment, including shotguns, shells, bows, arrows, targets, and eye and ear protection will be provided. Youth need only a desire to learn and have fun. Interested youth must preregister by Oct. 20.  Students are not required to have completed a hunter education course, but prior completion is preferred.

 

The event will begin at 12 p.m. at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed (COE) area between Marina Cove and Neosho Park, approximately 0.25 miles west of the COE office at the west end of the dam. Check-in and a free lunch will take place from 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m., courtesy of the Flint Hills Chapter of Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation. Instruction will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will end approximately at 4 p.m. Participants will be provided with safety and shooting instruction by certified firearm and archery skills instructors, and teaching methods almost guarantee that students will be breaking shotgun targets by the end of the session.

 

Door prizes will be awarded, including a youth model .243 bolt action rifle with scope, donated by the Chisholm Trail Chapter of Safari Club International.

 

Additional event sponsors include the Bill Young Foundation and Morris County Hunter Education instructors.

 

For more information, contact Council Grove Wildlife Area manager, Brent Konen, at (620) 767-5900.

Beginner venison processing class Oct. 24 in Pratt

 

You’ve bought your deer tags, put in time scouting, spent countless hours in the field, and have finally shot a deer. Now what? From field dressing to processing your deer at home, the

“Venison 101: From Field to Table” class on Oct. 24 will answer your “now what?” questions and more. Hosted by the Pratt County Extension Office and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), Venison 101: will take place at the Pratt Area 4-H Center, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hunters of all skill levels and ages are welcome. The cost to attend is $5 per person, or $10 per family, and will include a chili lunch.

 

Topics covered in the one-day class include safe field dressing and home processing methods for preparing your own venison, in addition to a live butchering demonstration.

 

KDWPT game warden Jason Harrold will also share updates to hunting laws and answer any questions participants may have.

 

Drawings for door prizes will be available for those in attendance.

 

For more information, and to register, contact the Pratt County Extension Office at (620) 672-6121.