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June 21, 2009

Deer run amok on Eastern Shore

The good roads and level highways of the Eastern Shore sometimes seem to beckon drivers to throw caution to the winds and put the pedal to the metal, but there's a very good reason to restrain this impulse: deer, lots of deer, all over the place.

My wife and I  just returned from a four-day jaunt through the Maryland Eastern Shore from Ocean City to Somerset County to Elkton, and I can tell you I've never seen so many of the critters. They are especially thick off the main highways, but travelers on U.S. 50 and other main roads shouldn't get complacent. We saw plenty of them grazing in the fields beside the main route to O.C.

Fortunately we had just one near-venison experience -- south of Salisbury in the hamlet of Eden. If we had been speeding we could easily have ended up with Bambi in our laps.

Motorists all over Maryland need to keep in mind the possibility of a deer jumping out of the woods or fields and in to their paths. These deer-vehicle encounters can be deadly -- and not just to the animal. A relative of one of my wife's close friends recently ended up in Shock-Trauma as a result of a deer crashing through the windshield in which she was driving. It happened on the Shore.

I know many drivers think nothing of letting it all hang out once they get over the Bay Bridge and cruising along U.S. 50 at 80 mph or more. But it's a deadly gamble, and the deer infestation is just one of the reasons.

From a public policy perspective, i think state officials need to consider whether the deer population has become so huge on the Shore that measures should be taken to thin the herd. An occasional sighting of deer is a beautiful and inspirational sight, but when a entire region is crawling with them, it strikes me as unsafe.

Posted by Michael Dresser at 5:17 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: On the roads
        

Comments

I live over here in Sharptown and they do seem to be quite populous this year. As a person who is ignorant about hunting (among other things), when is deer season?

maybe you should stick to writing about traffic and environmental affairs.

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.
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