In Ohio, it’s the middle of deer archery season.
Youth deer season will be November 17 and 18.
And the regular deer gun season will be November 26 through December 2.
And that all means risks for drivers–who could hit a deer with their vehicle–and hunters, who could be hit by a stray bullet.
So here’s a look at how to stay safe on the roads or in the woods.
“A ghost deer.”
The Ohio State Highway Patrol hears about these mythical creatures every year.
Drivers who crash their cars often claim they were just swerving to miss a deer.
Troopers say a deer is a terrible thing to invent.
“Just be up front and tell the truth,” says Lt. James Faunda, post commander. “And chalk it up to experience.”
Real deer are on the move too.
Most get hit in October, November and December, and in the dark.
So here’s how to keep out of their way.
“When it’s possible, drive with your high beams on,” advised Faunda. “And you need to constantly scan not only in front of you but also on the left and right side of the highway.”
If you’re hitting the woods, you must first complete a hunter safety course.
Online those courses cost money.
In Belmont County, the ODNR, the Sheriff’s Department and the FOP are presenting one free of charge on November 3 at the FOP Lodge.
They’ll cover firearms and archery safety.
“And also individual safety,” said Sgt. Tom DeVaul, one of the instructors. “If in the event of an emergency, you would get sick or maybe you would fall, what to do. And also it teaches respect for landowners and other people.”
They’ll learn everything from tree stand safety to hot to properly cross a fence.
Now, back to driving on the roadways.
If you do see a deer coming your way, they say slow down but try not to swerve.
“We’ve had some serious injuries and deaths result when people swerve to miss a deer,” Lt. Faunda concluded.
If you want to attend the hunter safety course, you must first register online by going to the ODNR website.
The course is for anyone, age 7 through adults.
For more information, call Sgt. Tom DeVaul at (740) 312-2589.