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Keep an eye on those deerPosted Monday, August 13, 2007, at 7:35 AM
Oh, deer - literally.
The Associated Press reports a device combining a flashing light and shrill alarm is being tested to see if it can deter deer from crossing roads when headlights are approaching.
An official says the $150 device can detect headlights before the deer.
From my experience -- I've been in two deer accidents in the past 10 years -- the device may work but so many would be needed its cost-effectiveness would be lost.
My first encounter was on Highway 41-A North in an unlit wooded stretch,at night, about a mile north of El Bethel in 1997. A doe and herd of baby deer crossed in front of another car and me. We ended up with five dead deer blocking both sides of the road and damaged cars.
I owned a '96 Camaro at the time. They have somewhat flat, low front ends and one of the deer ended up sliding up the hood and nearly through the windshield.
The other accident occurred about four years ago on Union Street in front of Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church -- well inside the Shelbyville city limits -- when a deer ran into the side of my SUV.
I heard a dull thump, then barely got a glimpse of the deer as it took off across the road.
Deer can damage a vehicle more than you'd think. What appeared to be a relatively minor dent ended up doing an extensive amount of damage underneath the fender.
It's deer season again and we'll hear the usual battle of venison lovers and those who enjoy the thrill of the hunt vs. those who think Bambi's cute.
My view's simple. Most of us eat cattle and pigs. Deer are also edible and many, as adults, will attack people.
And they die due to overpopulation if they're not controlled through hunting. So we might as well hunt and enjoy them -- and reduce the chance of accidents.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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