Escalating Hostilities Between Deer and Drivers

Jeff Holz, New York Times

Escalating Hostilities Between Deer and Drivers


Accidents involving deer and cars more than doubled in some towns in Fairfield County in the last two years, according to a report issued last week.

The report, by the Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance, which consists of members from 15 towns and cities, said that in New Canaan, there were 101 accidents in 2006, up from 44 the year before. Other towns that had increases were Darien (to 38, from 16), Greenwich (86, from 38) and Trumbull (38, from 21).

Kent Haydock, a spokesman for the alliance, said that it was too early to tell if the increases were part of a trend, but that some of the accidents were serious. He said a woman was killed on the Merritt Parkway last year when a deer crashed through her windshield.

Many of the accidents were in the fall — deer mating season — at dawn and dusk, Mr. Haydock said. “The deer are very mobile then,” he said. “And we have many cars on the roads then because those are commuting hours.”

Howard J. Kilpatrick, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Environmental Protection, said there were approximately 76,000 deer in the state when last counted four years ago. He said the deer were the most dense in Fairfield County, where there are as many as 50 per square mile in some areas.

Hunters in the northern part of the state have been able to control deer growth, he said, but “in Fairfield County, you have smaller properties that have been less exposed to hunting.”

Mr. Kilpatrick said the deer population needed to be reduced in Fairfield County, and recommended hunting as effective and economical.

Mr. Haydock said controlling the number of deer was the only way to reduce accidents. JEFF HOLTZ


Accidents involving deer and cars more than doubled in some towns in Fairfield County in the last two years, according to a report issued last week.

The report, by the Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance, which consists of members from 15 towns and cities, said that in New Canaan, there were 101 accidents in 2006, up from 44 the year before. Other towns that had increases were Darien (to 38, from 16), Greenwich (86, from 38) and Trumbull (38, from 21).

Kent Haydock, a spokesman for the alliance, said that it was too early to tell if the increases were part of a trend, but that some of the accidents were serious. He said a woman was killed on the Merritt Parkway last year when a deer crashed through her windshield.

Many of the accidents were in the fall — deer mating season — at dawn and dusk, Mr. Haydock said. “The deer are very mobile then,” he said. “And we have many cars on the roads then because those are commuting hours.”

Howard J. Kilpatrick, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Environmental Protection, said there were approximately 76,000 deer in the state when last counted four years ago. He said the deer were the most dense in Fairfield County, where there are as many as 50 per square mile in some areas.

Hunters in the northern part of the state have been able to control deer growth, he said, but “in Fairfield County, you have smaller properties that have been less exposed to hunting.”

Mr. Kilpatrick said the deer population needed to be reduced in Fairfield County, and recommended hunting as effective and economical.

Mr. Haydock said controlling the number of deer was the only way to reduce accidents. JEFF HOLTZ