Fewer car-deer collisions reportedThe decline in deer population is affecting more than just hunters this season, it’s affecting area body shops too. North Dakota’s three-week hunting season opened Nov. 4. The state issued fewer licenses this year, because after a string of tough winters and the loss of some habitat, deer population is down.
The decline in deer population is affecting more than just hunters this season, it’s affecting area body shops too.
North Dakota’s three-week hunting season opened Nov. 4. The state issued fewer licenses this year, because after a string of tough winters and the loss of some habitat, deer population is down.
The 110,000 licenses are the lowest in a decade, according to the Associated Press reports. Deer licenses peaked at about 150,000 just three years ago, the AP said.
With the decline in deer comes a decline in car-deer accidents, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Between Sept. 1 and Nov. 7, 2010, the patrol said, 61 car-deer accidents were reported in the Southeast Region. Only about three-fourths, or 46 accidents, were reported within the same period this year.
The decline in deer may mean a decline in revenue for some businesses.
At Don Wilhelm Inc., the bulk of body work this time of year, said Roger Krapp, auto body collision manager, comes from damages caused by car-deer accidents. Wilhelm has even advertises its repair services related to car-deer accidents, thanking the deer for bringing in business.
“When those (deer population) numbers are down, of course, we’re not going to see as much business in that area,” Krapp said.
Repair costs from car-deer accidents can range from $2,000 to $7,000, he said, saying in recent years, his shop repaired three to five vehicles a week compared to the one or two vehicles each week it services now.
Owen Lubenow, assistant manager of the body shop at R.M. Stoudt, said repairs are down at his shop. Lubenow said the shop has repaired five or 10 vehicles with damages due to car-deer accidents so far this season, compared to the two or three it repaired each week last year.
Doug Leier is a biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. In addition to the decline in deer population, Leier attributed the reduction in accidents to other factors like raised awareness and motorists driving fewer miles.
Although demand for business was down at local auto body shops, one meat processing facility said it actually saw an uptick. Michelle Bollinger, manager of Edgeley Meats in Edgeley, N.D., said the business processed more than 60 deer after last weekend’s deer season opener. That’s more than double the 25 it processed opening weekend last year.
Bollinger said the increase may also be due to the additional advertising Edgeley Meats has done as well as the reduction in services at a nearby meat processing facility.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at kryan-anderson@ jamestownsun.com