At a recent meeting of the Clermont County Township Association, trustees were brought up-to-date about the growing deer population in the area.
Association president Lee Cornett expressed his concern about the deer problem in Clermont County.
“We, as an association, do not have the knowledge or the authority to dictate possible actions,” said Cornett. “However, we can play a role in educating the public and informing the powers that be as to our concerns and encouraging them to come up with some solutions which may better serve us.”
According to David Yacchari, acting county manager for the Department of Transportation, the number of deer picked up off state highways in 2009 in Clermont County was 751. The largest number being 124 in November 2009.
Statistics compiled by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Batavia Post show that in 2007 there were 174 deer crashes with seven of those crashes resulting in personal injury. In 2008 there were 74 crashes with three resulting in personal injury and in 2009 there were 356 crashes resulting in 18 personal injuries.
"I can't really explain the big jump in 2009, other than a larger population of deer," said Post Commander Lt. Randy McElfresh.
Statewide, the statistics show that in 2008, there were a total of 24,582 deer crashes with six people killed and 1,127 injured. Nearly half of the accidents occurred between the beginning of October and the end of December. In November there were 5,176 accidents which is approximately 172 accidents each day.
The state report from ODOT also noted that many of the deer-vehicle collisions go unreported which may put the actual number of crashes as high as 60,000 each year.
Motorists are urged by officials to notify the OSHP or Ohio Department of Natural Resources when an accident occurs even if there is not damage to the vehicle.
Other statistics show that locally the county engineers office writes more than 190 work orders each year to remove deer carcasses from the roadways. In 2008, ODOT workers spent 30,060 hours removing 17,185 deer at a cost of $1.8 million.
The CCTA meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11 will be a follow up meeting with a presentation by Lt. McElfresh and a question and answer session with county wildlife officer Terry Glynn.
In educating the public about possible solutions, the trustees said that there are large preserved areas in the county where hunters are not permitted to hunt deer. It was also stated that many hunters are seeking trophy bucks, which means that does are not being harvested.
Trustees heard from state representative Joe Uecker that hunters should be encouraged to hunt female deer, that a special hunt should be planned and that farmers should be aware that if deer are eating their crops they can get a nuisance permit to hunt on their own land.
Cornett suggested that the township trustee representatives who are going to Columbus for the Winter Conference should communicate the local concerns about the deer problem at the state level.