The number of car accidents involving deer are down significantly now compared to the same timeframe last year, Shrewsbury Councilman Tom Menapace reported at the borough’s council meeting Monday night.
Menapace, liaison to the Shrewsbury Police Department, said between September 2011 and the end of January 2012 there were only two accidents reported involving a deer and vehicle. Compare that to the same span last year where as many as 20 vehicle versus deer wrecks were called in to police, he said.
As for the reason for the decline, the police aren’t speculating, though Menapace said residents are welcome to draw their own conclusions, some of which might be based in recent deer legislation.
In June, the allowing, for the first time, bow hunting on residential property. The ordinance, based on guidelines introduced in Trenton by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, gave permission to bow hunters to target deer from an elevated position as close as 150 feet to residences within the borough.
The new ordinance was approved by the council largely based on a 100-page report and resident survey filed by police detailing concern over a growing deer population in Shrewsbury. Of the less than 250 residents who responded to a poll mailed to Shrewsbury homes, more than 70 percent said they felt the deer population should be culled. Since 2006, police have responded to approximately 18 accidents each year involving deer, the June report said.
Opponents of the ordinance . Their primary concern, Sycamor Avenue homeowner Dede Lichtig said, is the proximity of deadly weapons and projectiles to residential properties.
Of course, the decline of deer accidents could just be coincidence. One resident said she’s seen just as many, if not more, deer around town this year when compared to past years. She just may have a point. Adjacent to is a large yard the routinely attracts deer to graze. Monday night was no different, with at least half a dozen deer alternating between chewing and watching cautiously as people filed out of borough hall.