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Deer causing road chaos in Hokkaido as crashes hit record high

25 Comments
By Saki Watanabe

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A large doe

Who writes these articles?! Please do some research first on what female sika deer are called.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

My friend hit a dear coming from Houston,it damaged her car a little

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

People tend to oversteer when trying to avoid hitting an animal and causing severe injuries instead of just hitting the animal. It is safer to just hit the animal then it is to try to avoid it and have a head on collision with another vehicle.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Please do some research first on what female sika deer are called.

Doe or hind are both used, I think. Doe more generally, hind more specifically for female red deer.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

People tend to oversteer when trying to avoid hitting an animal and causing severe injuries instead of just hitting the animal. It is safer to just hit the animal then it is to try to avoid it and have a head on collision with another vehicle.

Exactly. If you're about to hit a deer (or any animal), just hit it and not risk taking evasive action that may end up getting you, your passengers, or other drivers hurt or killed. No one wants to hit the animal but it's just not worth it.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Experts blame reduced snowfall caused by global warming

My goodness, is there nothing to which the "experts" won't try to hitch their radical enviro-agenda?

The "experts," across many fields, have told us some awfully silly things over the past few years. Are we now to believe them when we say that "global warming" is actually causing deer-involved accidents too?

The claim made in the article that "global warming is causing deer to migrate from eastern Hokkaido to central and western Hokkaido" is absurd.

I've lived in Hokkaido for over 20 years -- mostly in the central and western part of it. And there have always been deer around that whole time!

By the way, central and western Hokkaido has had tons of snow the past few years -- as it usually does.

It's also always had lots of deer-involved car accidents. So why the big news about it now all of a sudden?

To push the "climate crisis" nonsense, apparently.

-13 ( +10 / -23 )

Exactly. If you're about to hit a deer (or any animal), just hit it and not risk taking evasive action that may end up getting you, your passengers, or other drivers hurt or killed. No one wants to hit the animal but it's just not worth it.

Yes! When I lived in the USA I had a SUV that was a total loss from hitting a Whitetail Buck. That thing was massive. It jumped into the road from the ditch as soon as I got near it...at dusk. Talk about a mess, but it was a deer intestine mess, not a mess of human intestines. Human Life any animal.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Controlling the deer population is easier said than done. In the 1970s, there were about 20,000 hunters, but now there are only about 6,000 largely aging locals willing to participate.

Is the lower number of hunters going to blamed on "global warming" too?

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Is the lower number of hunters going to blamed on "global warming" too?

Actually, yes. With the weather being warmer hunters are more reluctant to go outdoors. lol. That is what "they" want us to believe.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

It's also always had lots of deer-involved car accidents. So why the big news about it now all of a sudden?

The news is that the number has hit a record high, it basically tripled in the last ten years. Are you arguing that the people in charge cannot count?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You could always use your brakes. The speed limit in Hokkaido seems to be 50 km/hr almost everywhere.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

There don,t seem to be any driver education nor info on this subject. Only the obvious do's and don't's but nothing like the average times not to travel and speed to travel etc. Is dusk and dawn times when to be cautious ? or all night ? or daytime only ? Mostly on tollway at certain times. I have never came across any wildlife only signs and once a fresh road kill of a Macaque on the road to Matsumoto from Takayama. I stop to check on it medical condition but it was dead. It seemed that he got nailed by a truck because his torso and legs were pretty messed up I want to keep the head but reasoned the law in Japan might object.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Global warming as a reason is ridiculous.

The deer population has exploded due to a drop in hunters.

The drop in hunters is because of Japan's ridiculously stringent time consuming gun laws. You can start hunting with a smoothbore shotgun, but need years before you can graduate to a rifled slug gun, then a rifle. That's why there are so few young hunters in Japan, and so many old ones. Some old enough that they should retire from the activity.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I wonder is the local council will erect road signs, saying that in that area wild dear are present and to be cautious, it sounds like they need to have a cull and curtail the numbers. Will insurance companies make an exclusion on the police that it does not cover damage from deer?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

""Traffic accidents involving deer have also become a big headache for insurance companies.""

well that's too bad, then increase the rate in Hokkaido and NOT the rest of the nation.

I know for a fact that insurance companies Don't like to or want to pay out at all if possible, even when they do they will drop the pay out to minimum. They just love to take take & take.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It's also always had lots of deer-involved car accidents. So why the big news about it now all of a sudden?

Because "In 2023, there was a 2.9-fold increase from a decade earlier." It's in the article.

To push the "climate crisis" nonsense, apparently.

The only thing that is being pushed is your buttons. Apparently the mere mention of climate change or "experts" enrages you.

The climate is warming I'm afraid. You need to deal with it because it's going to continue to do so.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Perhaps authorities can create an underpass or overpass for the deer to travel in order to circumvent automobile traffic . . ..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Then you'd need to fence off the rest of the road to make them use that, and Hokkaido has a lot of road. Unfeasible if you think about it.

It's not unfeasible: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/wildlife-overpasses-underpasses-make-animals-people-safer

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's not unfeasible

Wow, that's quite a beautiful piece of engineering in that top picture. I stand corrected.

There are a couple of underpasses around here built recently to help reduce deer collisons with fences for a few hundred metres either side to funnel them in. It seems underpasses work better with smaller furtive species.

A study there shows that in just one two-mile stretch, wildlife-vehicle crashes reduced from an average of 12 a year to 2.5, reducing costs of crashes by 90 percent—over $100,000

Hokkaido could do this too I presume. They have the space to accommodate them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Last week there was a herd (6+) of deer walking around our neighborhood like they were the morning walking team. Strolling, not running, in the middle of the road. That was odd. We see deer in back yards, but not in the middle of the streets. Also got beer warnings last week, which is unusual for this close to a city. Black beer country is about 2 hrs north of here in the mountains.

Deer accidents often totally destroy vehicles. Complete loss. Of course, sometimes the deer has a broken leg and shuffles into the woods to die from starvation or predators over the following week. It isn't a humane death.

Game management is fairly well understood, especially for deer. Without natural predators, man needs to step in to keep the population healthy. Overpopulation is cruel and causes all sorts of problems for the animals.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With no natural predators what do you expect? We have bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions taking out deer in my area and they are still everywhere.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Controlling the deer population is easier said than done. In the 1970s, there were about 20,000 hunters, but now there are only about 6,000 largely aging locals willing to participate.

I'm sure if the prefectural government made it worth their while, many others would do the necessary paperwork and training to become licensed. It's culling time again. Anyone for (lots of) venison?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

...there were 1,085 cases of insurance payouts totaling 670 million yen ($4.5 million),...

While that's certainly a number of accidents and no doubt severe damage and injury involved, for insurance companies that'd be peanuts.

Averages out at about 60万 / accident which equates to a low speed, shop carpark crash requiring a new bumper, headlights and a bit of spray paint.

Hardly imagine Insurance Inc is reeling over this.

And if they are so concerned, I wonder if they have been / are involved in any programs with communities, govt, police etc to find solutions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

accidents with deers/or say with kangaroos in Australia for example/are not easy ones.

Japans population of deers/and also bears/ is highest end one these days so gov should do better job to reduce them as these are posing danger for japanese public.same problem have say Slovakia/Romania in EU with bears...

and good advice-dont mix some global warming agenda with obvious reality written above...as have nothing to do with that at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure if the prefectural government made it worth their while, many others would do the necessary paperwork and training to become licensed.

I would.

It's culling time again. Anyone for (lots of) venison?

I don't believe in culling animals. But for food, absolutely! Sign me up! I would love to hunt deer and stuff my fridge full of venison.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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