Bill Aims To Reduce Deer Damage
The House is being asked to urge the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to take steps to help reduce deer-related property or vehicle damage in certain regions of the Commonwealth, after the Senate passed a bill Friday.
During Senate committee discussion, there was talk about the risk of injuries or even deaths resulting from car collisions with deer. There are also cases of deer causing agricultural damage.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Deputy Commissioner Karen Waldrop said there are areas with high numbers of deer and elk.
“We do try to encourage our hunters to take more does in those counties, to try to lower the population, but really we’re constricted by the number of hunters we have and the number of hunters in those counties,” she said.
One of the senators expressing concern in committee was Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones. He and his wife have filed four deer claims with their insurance carrier over the last two years. The Senator from Pikeville called it a huge problem.
The eastern Kentucky lawmaker said State Farm Insurance has paid out millions for vehicle-deer collisions.
“If one insurance alone paid $28 million, every person who’s paying for car insurance is paying for that, and at some point fish and wildlife is going to have to take a hard look at this,” he said.
Waldron said there are about 900,000 deer in Kentucky. She said that’s close to the same number of a decade ago.