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2/20/2014 10:39:00 AM Letters to the editor: Leave it to government to come up with ill-conceived deer plan
I would like to comment on the front page story of Feb. 14, 2014, “Fewer deer permits would mean more car vs. deer accidents.”
According to IDNR spokesman Tim Schweizer and the Joint Task Force on Deer Population the way they determine the population of deer is by the number of car vs. deer accidents. So, as I understand it, less accidents equals small population and more accidents equals bigger population. It seems very unscientific to me and I am sure to other people, as well.
So, the IDNR’s proposed ‘goal’ may now be 511.8 car vs. deer collisions per million miles driven versus the previous “goal” of 413.5. Subtract the numbers and you get an increase of 98.3, which will be the new “goal” for Bureau County. That is a 23.8 percent increase. According to Bureau County sheriff John Thompson, 49 percent of accidents are car vs. deer in the county. Will the new number be possibly 60 percent of accidents?
Amazingly, state legislators set a “goal” of reducing car vs. deer accidents by 14 percent. How will that work for Bureau County with the goal of increasing by 23.8 percent?
Did the IDNR think to notify the auto insurance companies of their plans to increase these accidents? I don’t think they will be thrilled to learn they might be spending more money to fix damaged cars. Plus, everybody has deductibles on their plans. Do you think people will be happy spending $250, $500 or $1,000 out of pocket to have their cars repaired? Also, these accidents are not always fender-benders; some could result in loss of life.
Mr. Schweizer advises to “drive carefully and not be part of the data.”
Last year, there were 613 fewer deer taken by hunters and wasting disease in Bureau County than in the previous year due to the severe winter.
Only a government agency would think it is a good idea to reduce deer permits, which in turn will increase the deer accidents as a way of determining the deer population. Please find a better way to count the deer!
The real “goal” is to keep our roads safer.
Alan Hoenig, Princeton
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