Motorists Alerted to Deer
Inside the Outdoors, November 21
, 2014

It wasn’t long ago, I was in the process of being taxied home from church when we came upon a young doe crossing the road. The driver slowed his vehicle for the reason that he stated, “Where there is one, there are more to follow.” Sure enough, waiting in the road, three more animals crossed, all about the same age. When they reached the trees, all four stopped and looked at us with great curiosity, heads tilting, engaged in thought. All I can say is, “I bet they never saw a Veteran’s Cab before and particularly one of the vehicle’s color!

So what the driver was doing here was exactly as the Pennsylvania Game Commission was recommending in its recent news release, drivers have to use caution because whitetails will be seen more crossing the road.

According to the PGC, “All motorists should be advised that white-tailed deer have entered a period of increased activity and we are crossing roads more frequently as a result,” said Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough. He continued, “While drivers should always remain alert and on the lookout for whitetails crossing roads, now more than ever is a time to pay particular attention while behind the wheel.”

At one time, there was very little human traffic in the woods. Sportsmen and women were spending time boating, fishing on lakes or vacationing at the beach, for example. Now, it is a different scenario. All have returned home with a good percentage of them arming themselves with compound or crossbows, rifles and shotguns. The “army of intruders” as a deer may construe it, are now interrupting the tranquility of the wooded environment where they were allowed to forage and roam freely.

During this fall season, deer are spending more time actively feeding to store energy for winter months.

Recently when start of daylight savings time began, the PGC said, this is the time when there is more vehicular traffic because of the traffic between dusk and dawn. One has to take this into account and be ready to encounter animals, such as deer, along the roadway.

One cannot give one’s full attention to the possibility of encountering deer if he is concentrating half on the roadway conditions while talking on one’s cell phone or driving with one hand and holding and supping from a cup of coffee with the other. One has to give full attention to the surroundings so he knows what is to the left and to the right of approaching conditions ahead.

Unfortunately, all too often, a deer does get hit. The PGC states that, “A driver who hits a deer with a vehicle is not required to report the accident to the Game Commission. If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass.” In this case, drivers must call the Game Commission region office representing the county where the accident occurred and an agency dispatcher will collect the information needed to provide a free permit number, which the caller should write down. A resident must call within 24 hours of taking possession. A passing Pennsylvania motorist also may claim the deer, if the person whose vehicle hit it doesn’t want it,” it said.

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Moving on, the fish are jumping in area lakes thanks to recent stocking of trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Recently, a friend took me on a quick outing to Lower Twin Lake, my favorite body of water. No sooner did we get on the sidewalk that runs parallel to the lake did a regular angler from Jeannette pull in a trout on a jig suspended from a bobber.

My friend said he got hits on a Kastmaster, but this time no takes. I was blessed with getting my favorite fish, a nice, hefty bluegill on an artificial, scented dugworm, manufactured by Berkley. It has been my ticket for both bluegill and trout.

My father-in-law taught me, “Always use natural presentation – a baited hook suspended under a bobber, no weight.” Try it, it works!

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Finally, while being taxied to St. James Roman Catholic Church in New Alexandria, recently, my Veteran’s Cab chauffeur spotted a pheasant walking along the berm of State Route 981. With a smile on his face, he stated, “That bird certainly knows where to stay on the safe side. One is not allowed to shoot wildlife within 200 yards of a highway.”

On the other side of the coin, how safe can it be for “the two-legged strutter” if a motorist accidently strikes it and causes its demise? Either way, I think our friend ought to rethink its strategy. It’s no time to feel smug just yet.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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