Deer – Pests or Pets? [POLL]
On my way home last night driving in a fog where visibility was severely limited, my biggest concern was the possibility of a deer darting out in front of me.
Bad enough I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of me.
I’m sure that had a deer crossed the road, I probably would have hit it head on…or tried to veer out of the way, but with the fog, could possibly have hit an oncoming car or truck.
Lucky for me, while I did see some deer, it was in familiar territory about a half mile away from my home, and I was able to stop in time.
Not so for this one driver in Hunterdon County who lost control braking for deer, which eventually caused him to swerve off the road into oncoming traffic causing a 3 car accident.
A three-car accident in which a driver crossed the median on Route 202 and was hit by an oncoming car happened when cars tried to avoid hitting a deer that darted across the highway, police reported.
The deer ran out onto the northbound lanes, near River Road, at about 9:15 p.m. on Jan. 27. Police said that the drivers of several vehicles braked quickly, including Craig Vanvalkenburg, 30, of Hawthorne.
Vanvalkenburg lost control of his Jeep, crossing the grass median. In the highway’s southbound lanes his Jeep was hit by a car driven by Jane Gorman, of Philadelphia.
Police said that Gorman was apparently able to stop when she saw the Jeep headed her way, but another driver, Elizabeth Cox, 53, of Flemington, hit Gorman’s car from behind, pushing it into Vanvalkenburg’s Jeep.
No serious injuries were reported, police said, but all three vehicles were towed. Cpl. Patrick Carr and Patrolman Peter Serrone investigated.
Car/deer accidents are common in Hunterdon, and many motorists each year say they swerved to avoid a deer and lost control of their cars.
According to an insurance industry estimate, 30,866 deer were hit by vehicles in the Garden State in 2010, and that’s considered to be a conservative count.
Conclusion: pests which can cause serious accidents.
So while we can say they’re pests we have to deal with, one couple from Indiana treated a wounded dear as a PET, and now could be facing charges for doing so.
Should an Indiana couple go to jail for saving an injured deer?
That’s the question surrounding the case of Jeff and Jennifer Counceller, who rescued an injured fawn and nursed it back to health at their Connersville home. The couple now faces the possibility of jail time and fines after state officials charged them with a misdemeanor for harboring the animal.
Jeff Counceller, a police officer in Connersville, and his wife were charged with unlawful possession of a deer, a misdemeanor that punished to its fullest extent could put the Councellers in jail for up to 60 days and cost them up to $2,000 in fines.
The couple rescued the deer more than two years ago after finding it on their neighbor’s porch. The Councellers said the deer had sustained injuries, and they wanted to nurse it back to health.
They brought the deer home and named her Little Orphan Dani.
The Councellers said an Indiana Conservation Officer stopped by their home and discovered the deer this past summer. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources wanted to euthanize Dani, saying she might be dangerous and a threat to people.
On the day Dani was to be put down, the Councellers said she inexplicably escaped from their backyard. Even though Dani disappeared back into the wild, the Councellers’ legal problems didn’t go with the fawn.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation but that it did discourage people from taking in injured wildlife. This case could go to court next month, and if charges aren’t dropped, it will be left for a jury to decide whether the Councellers broke the law.
“No matter what the law is, we did what was right for the animal,” Counceller said.
I wonder if, in fact, it would have been right for the animal. After all, deer are supposed to live in the wild.
And certainly not right for those who live among them…like us, who have to swerve out of the way any time we see one in the road.
Again, just quoting the figure from above, “According to an insurance industry estimate, 30,866 deer were hit by vehicles in the Garden State in 2010, and that’s considered to be a conservative count.
So would you consider them pests, or have the heart to take one in?