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'Don't Veer for Deer' - Though It May Be a Disease that Puts the Animals in Jeopardy

The Michigan DNR is reporting that the deer disease EHD is back in the state this year, and it's hit Oakland County.

This story has been revised since its original posting to correct and clarify the DMAC benchmarks. Also, since the posting, the DNR has reported three deer dead of EHD in Oakland County.

The Rochester Hill's City Council heard a report from the Deer Management Advisory Committee this week. 

While the report included several recommendations for 2013 to decrease deer/vehicle crashes — a feeding ban, educational materials and signs — it also concluded that EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease) is back in the state.

The disease, spread by midge flies, causes extensive internal bleeding in deer. The disease does not affect humans. It was last seen in the area in 2009 when many dead deer were pulled from area rivers as deer seek water to relieve the high fever that accompanies the disease.

As of Monday, the Michigan DNR has reported 10,400 dead deer in 29 counties. On Wednesday afternoon, the DNR reported three deer dead of EHD in Oakland County.

To track the disease the DNR is asking residents to report the presence of dead deer to their nearest Wildlife Office.

2011 Numbers

Ten Rochester Hills areas are surveyed annually for a deer count, according to the report. The areas are:

  • Butler Road/Oakland University
  • Riverbend Park
  • Adams/Avon
  • Faculty Subdivision
  • City Hall
  • Bloomer Park
  • Winkler Mill
  • North Rochester Road
  • Fairview Subdivision
  • Fairview Commons

Aerial surveys have taken place every year since 1999 with the exception of this year due to a lack of snow. There must be at least 4 inches of snow on the ground to do an aerial survey.

The numbers reported are for 2011. Data for 2012 will not be available until May.

After three consecutive years of decreases, deer/vehicle crashes in Rochester Hills were up 13.9 percent in 2011, according to the report. However, the number, 139 crashes, is below the benchmark of 150 crashes.

The survey also showed an increase in the local deer population from 107 counted deer in 2010 to 132 in 2011.

In order for DMAC to change their recommended approach to deer management, the deer/vehicle collisions would have to reach at least 200 for a given year and the deer aerial survey would need to increase by more than 20 percent from one year to the next.

The report also stated deer complaints in all categories — feeding deer, nuisance and roadkill — decreased drastically in 2011. 

Deer Signage 

Rochester Hills has a total of seven moveable signs to alert drivers of high-risk areas. Two new signs that also include driver speed information have been added this year. The signs are used from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, the mating season when deer are most active. 

The signage rotates between these high crash areas:

  • Tienken Road
  • Brewster Road
  • Adams, along Oakland University
  • Walton
  • Livernois
  • Avon
  • Hamlin
  • Rochester Road

The committee is also looking into other low-cost options like subdivision exit signs similar to those used to educate on water conservation.

Garrett Berry November 08, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Im a bowhunter who hates to see deer dead on the road rather then in my freezer.I have a family of three who loves Venison. In Minnesota they allow bowhunters in a tree shooting down to hunt deer on there properties with a bow and arrow. They make hunters take a class and follow all rules.The state actually makes a little money on the deal . My number is 1248 425 6217 If you own a few acres i can help havent got a deer this year! Garrett
bekki brown November 08, 2012 at 01:53 AM
TURN OFF YOUR HIGHS OK as for the DON'T VEER FOR DEER MAYBE the people should think of this WHEN u are driving at night and u have ur HIGH beams on it is IMPORTANT that u turn them OFF when u come to on coming traffic.. the lights they make now are VERY VERY BRIGHT and since i drive at night i have almost gone in the ditch 4 5 times now cuz people are rude and don"t turn them off and blind me to point were i cant see shit. and that is WORSE then almost hitting a deer. so the next person that doesn't wanna turn the highs off i will u turn it right there in the road follow u and i will give u a piece of mind the animals causing accidents its the ignorant lazy "don't no how to drive" people that are gonna be the cause of deaths people must not understand that when we flash are ligh's at u its not warning u to slow down cops or cop warning its saying UR BLINDING ME turn ur's off.. i am able to see a deer's eyes to slow down .. maybe they jump out at u .. but some how ur warned either way .. but to be blind
Peter Griffin November 08, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Hey bekki...ever hear of run on sentences? Wow. ; ) Don't threaten to come after people if they have their brights on. You never know what kind of nut-job they may be.
bekki brown November 08, 2012 at 02:52 AM
didnt mean to put it off topic I just figure maybe those people would be on her and see it and no it will hurt some one. and they dont no what nut job they maybe blinding .. so it goes boths ways :)
Garrett Berry November 09, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Hey Tony Would love To Help with the deer Problem and get some tasty venison. I usually trade tree work for a place to hunt. Garrett Berry I currently hunt near Secord lake rd. My number is on here...

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