Deer hunting within Durham could decrease deer-car collisions

Durham could approve deer hunting within city limits giving avid hunters free range as long as they are licensed.
November 4, 2013 5:09:10 PM PST
Hundreds of deer-vehicle collisions cause millions of dollars in damage each year, and in some cases, the violent accidents can even be fatal for the driver.

Evidence of deer and car collisions litter the road in the fall. ABC11 spoke to one man attempting to reduce the crashes with a controversial effort to thin out the deer population.

"[There's] always been tons of deer especially in Durham...always see them hit on the road...sad not to see them go to good use," said Urban Archery advocate Eric Steinbicker, who has pushed for bow hunting with the Durham city limits for the past year.

The City of Durham approved deer bow hunting within city limits Monday night. The ordinance goes into effect immediately.

The plan will giving avid hunters free range as long as they are licensed, using appropriate equipment, and hunting on at least five acres more than 150 feet away from homes and businesses.

Supporters say it could significantly decrease deer crashes.

Since 2009, there have been nearly 3,500 deer related wrecks on North Carolina roads; 17 of those wrecks were fatal.

"The statistics show that the towns that had urban archery, the numbers [of deer accidents] went down by 20 percent," said Steinbicker.

Wake County leads the state in the number of deer collisions, and while supporters tout the benefits, critics question whether it is safe.

"It's completely safe. In 40 years, NC Wildlife Commission has been doing studies about hunters injuring each other...never happened not once...not a single time. Completely safe. Usually drops where it is," said Steinbicker.

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