The Kentucky House is being asked to urge the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to take steps to help reduce deer-related property or vehicle damage in certain regions of the Commonwealth. The bill passed the full Senate on 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 says 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,” Waldrop said.
Pike County Senator and Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones said in committee last week he and his wife have filed four deer claims with insurance over the last two years. The eastern Kentucky lawmaker says State Farm Insurance has paid out millions for vehicle-deer collisions.
“If one insurance alone’s 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,” Jones said.
Waldrop says there are about 900,000 deer in Kentucky. She says that’s close to the same number of a decade ago.