A few years ago, a good friend of mine hit the road early in the morning and headed toward his favorite deer hunting spot. He didn’t make it. Instead he crashed his truck into a buck deer, doing some extreme damage to the vehicle and killing the deer. Stepping out of the truck and surveying the situation, he calmly pulled his license out of his wallet, notched it with the date and time with his knife, and tagged the buck.

I don’t recommend this method of hunting deer, and I’m sure, neither does your auto insurance agent.

As the days shorten and the breeding season for deer approaches, the chances of encountering deer on Indiana roadways increases significantly. Motorists should pay close attention while driving to decrease the risk of collision. Deer-vehicle accidents can be minimized by practicing good defensive driving skills.

Staying aware and keeping the following information in mind can help motorists reduce their chances of becoming another deer-vehicle collision statistic:

• Deer are most active at dawn and dusk.

• Deer often travel in groups. If you see one deer, another is likely nearby.

• Be especially careful in areas where you have seen deer before.

• Use high beams when there is no opposing traffic. Scan for deer’s illuminated eyes or dark silhouettes along the side of the road.

• If you see a deer, slow your speed drastically, even if it is far away.

• Exercise extreme caution along wooded edges, at hills, and during blind turns.

• Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Most serious crashes occur when drivers try to miss a deer, but hit something else.

The total number of deer-vehicle collisions reported state-wide increased from 15,270 in 2018 to 15,559 in 2019. Breaking it down to miles versus deer collisions, the number of deer/vehicle collisions per billion miles traveled (DVC/BMT) was 195 DVC/BMT in 2019, similar to the 194 DVC/BMT reported in 2018.

Most deer-vehicle collisions in 2019 occurred on state roads with 36.7% while county roads were responsible for 28.3%.

Nearly 50% of deer-vehicle collisions in 2019 occurred between September and December. Additionally, deer-vehicle collisions occurred most often during dawn and dusk, which varies by month and coincides with the average length of daylight.

The estimated economic cost of deer-vehicle collisions from damage to vehicles in Indiana in 2019 was more than $66.5 million, based on the average estimated cost per collision. From 2014 to 2019, deer-vehicle collisions cost Hoosier drivers a total of more than $361 million.

Time To Evict Bats From Your Home

As temperatures drop, most Hoosiers hunker down to stay warm, and native bats are preparing to do the same. Big brown bats may use buildings for hibernation, causing homeowners to search for solutions to evict their unwelcome guests.

Bat removal takes finesse. Ideally, temperatures should be above 50-60°F for five consecutive nights without high winds or precipitation. August through October is the best time to remove bats. In winter and early spring (November – April), most of Indiana’s bat species are hibernating and should not be removed at this time. In the summer (June – August), bats are rearing pups and should not be evicted to prevent trapping juveniles.

Using one-way, funnel-shaped exclusion devices to evict bats is the most efficient method of removing and preventing bats from roosting in structures. The devices allow bats to exit but not enter a building. Once it is clear and bats are not entering elsewhere, the bat entrance(s) can be repaired. A variety of materials can be used, making it easy to find a solution best for your home.

For immediate assistance with injured bats, please contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. If you need help figuring out bat-proofing solutions for your home, consider contacting your district wildlife biologist. You can locate your District Wildlife Biologist by going to: https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2716.htm.

Hunting Seasons

Wild Turkey Fall Archery: Oct. 1 – Nov. 1

Deer Archery: Oct. 1 – Jan. 3, 2021

Woodcock: Oct. 15 – Nov. 28

Red and Gray Fox: Oct. 15 – Feb. 28, 2021

Coyote and Striped Skunk: Oct. 15 – Mar. 15, 2021

Wild Turkey Fall Firearms: Oct. 21 – Nov. 1

Ducks, Coots, Mergansers:

North Zone: Oct. 24 – Dec. 13

Central Zone: Oct. 31 – Nov. 8

Canada Geese:

North Zone: Oct. 24 – Nov. 1

Central Zone: Oct. 31 – Nov. 8

Youth Waterfowl:

North Zone: Oct. 17 – 18

Central Zone: Oct. 24 – 25

South Zone: Oct. 31 – Nov. 1

Veteran Waterfowl:

North Zone: Oct. 17 – 18

Central Zone: Oct. 24 – 25

South Zone: Oct. 31 – Nov. 1

Mourning dove season closed on Oct. 18. Dog running season for raccoon and opossum will close on Oct. 25.

‘til next time,


Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net. “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” a compilation of 74 of Spaulding’s best articles written over the past 30 years is available from Amazon.com.

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