HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A big increase in deer-related crashes is starting to cost the city of Hendersonville big bucks and city leaders are scrambling to come up with a long-term solution to control it.
It’s an issue that is beginning to become near and deer to the residents of Hendersonville. In fact, Alderman Steve Brown said the city has seen a significant uptick in the number of deer carcasses that have been removed from city roads.
According to Alderman Brown, the city paid more than $45,000 to remove carcasses from the start of 2021 through past July. The alderman says compared to the first six months of the year, that’s a 100% increase.
Officials said deer-related crashes are not only limited to roads, but the possibility of seeing a deer in your headlights is higher in one specific part of the city.
“Deer, especially on the peninsulas in this city, are concentrated,” said Alderman Brown, “A deer will live within one square mile where it’s born, and our deer are having triplets and they are staying in those areas they are born in, and they’re just a larger population, there are more homes, more cars, more people and more deer. “
Alderman Brown said safety is the biggest issue when it comes to the increase in crashes especially when the city is averaging nine to ten accidents a month that involve deer.
Hendersonville’s Deer Monitoring Committee Chairman Oliver Barry said the city is working on creating long-term solutions to curb the issue and passing a “non-feeding” ordinance was a good start.
“They have to go somewhere, they have to live somewhere, and when citizens feed them that gets them out of their normal migration patterns and gets them to come to places where they shouldn’t be,” said Chairman Oliver Barry, “Again, feeding deer is not good for them, not good for the community and that’s something we should really stress and enforce the local deer feeding ordinance.”
Chairman Barry said there isn’t an instant solution to solve the significant increase in crashes but drivers can learn when to be more vigilant on the roads to avoid coming in contact with the animals.
“The fall and early winter is a time when deer are on the move the most. They are looking for mates and they don’t consider traffic, people or cars,” said Chairman Barry, “Just before sunrise every morning and sunset every evening is when deer are moving around the most, especially when it’s cool temperatures like this. So, now is the time to watch for them, and don’t just watch for the one in front of your car; watch out for the one behind him too, so you can avoid hitting them.”
The chairman added that Hendersonville isn’t the only city with deer problems but is the only city that has a deer committee dedicated to considering and working on the problem.