A New Year’s omen appeared Friday when a fawn or juvenile deer appeared outside the walls of the Progressive Foundry in downtown Perry.
The spindly legged ruminant stood between the factory and a semi-tractor trailer, looking lost and vulnerable in the freezing afternoon.
Deer hunters are reminded the nonresident holiday antlerless season ends today, Jan. 2, and bow and muzzleloader seasons end Jan. 10.
Perry, like many other urban areas in Iowa, has experienced an increased deer population since 2000. Motorists faced a 1-in-55 chance of striking a deer in 2019, giving Iowa the fifth-highest odds nationwide in animal-vehicle collisions, according to sources in the automobile insurance industry.
Populations denser than 30 deer per square mile can cause problems with habitat and conflict with people. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) works with cities to create urban deer management plans with the aim of managing the populations. Perry has not formed an Urban Deer Task Force.
The DNR offers the following tips for drivers wishing to avoid a deer collision:
- Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
- If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
- Always buckle up, every trip, every time.
- Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
- Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash.
- Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals.
- Avoid distractions, like devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
- Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven to be effective.
- If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focused on the road ahead.