Deer-Vehicle Collisions Peak in the Fall

Author: Marne Titchenell; titchenell.4

WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) provide abundant recreation opportunities for hunters and wildlife watchers, they can unfortunately cost us millions of dollars every year through deer-vehicle collisions. So listen up motorists, now is the time when deer are on the move and extra caution is advised when out on the roadways.

So what is happening during October and especially November that increases the chances of Ohio motorists colliding with deer? Some people may think that hunting causes an increase in deer movement, particularly across roads and highways (Ohio’s deer hunting season runs from Sept. 26 – Jan. 12), but this isn’t always the case. For example, movements of antlered deer in Pennsylvania wearing GPS radio collars were tracked during the weeks before, during, and after muzzleloader and firearms seasons and there were no changes in activity patterns due to the hunting season. Deer movement due to hunting depends on the amount of hunting pressure, and while intense pressure can cause an increase in deer activity, typically deer stay within their normal home ranges. The truth is, deer are on the move at this time of year for multiple reasons, both natural and human related.

Possibly the biggest reason for the increase in deer movement is the breeding season (rut), which takes place October through December in Ohio. In November, deer are entering the peak of their breeding season. Males are actively searching for mateswhich frequently bring them across roadways. The total distance a single deer moves during a 24-hour period varies from 1 – 4 miles, but that distance is increased dramatically in males during the breeding season. While some female deer may take a brief breeding excursion outside their normal range in search of a mate, the majority stay put and don’t travel more than normal during the breeding season.

In between breeding, deer also need to increase their food consumption this time of year in preparation for the winter months. Depending on the available food resources in their home range (such as acorns and other hard mast), deer may have to travel further to find enough food, which can lead to additional travel across roadways to reach alternate resources.

In addition to the increased activity brought on by the breeding season and the approach of winter, daylight savings time plays a role in motorists encountering deer on the roadways. As Ohioans "fall back" (on November 1 this year), the shorter days and longer nights force commuters onto the roads at dawn and dusk – the same times deer are most active. Also, motorists shouldn’t make the mistake in thinking that deer will only be encountered crossing roads in rural parts of the state. In fact, urban and suburban areas are also prime sites for deer vehicle collisions.

To summarize, October through November is the prime time for deer vehicle collisions. Deer are sighted frequently during this time for a variety of reasons; breeding season, hunter avoidance, increasing deer populations, and lessening of daylight hours. What can drivers around Ohio do to remain safe and decrease their chances of an accident?

Ø Take special precautions this time of year to avoid collisions, especially at dawn and after sunset, and during the hours of 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. – 8 a.m. Be extra careful throughout November, as the number of accidents peak during this month.

Ø Remember that breeding season for deer is October – December, and although most accidents occur in October and November, remain vigilant through December.

Ø Often times when there is one deer, there are more. If one deer crosses the road, slow down because there may be more on their way across.

Ø If a deer runs in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but try not to swerve. Swerving can cause the loss of control of your vehicle, which can lead to more damage to you and your car. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that more people are injured trying to avoid hitting a deer than those that don’t.

Ø Pay special attention to deer crossing signs. They are there for a reason – to alert you of a high deer density area.

Ø Stay alert and constantly on watch especially during the dawn and dusk hours. Deer can be very unpredictable, especially when frightened. If you pass a deer on the road side, flash your lights at oncoming traffic to alert the other drivers of potential danger – a little warning can go a long way in avoiding an accident.

Ø Perhaps you have heard of the hood-mounted deer whistles and ultrasonic devices designed to scare away deer? Skip the purchase – wildlife biologists have found no evidence these devices work.

Ø Finally, and possibly most important – because a deer-vehicle collision cannot always be avoided no matter how vigilant you are – wear your seat belt. Luckily, most deer vehicle collisions don’t results in human fatalities; however the number of crash deaths is increasing in almost every state, including Ohio, which is one of the top 5 states with the highest fatalities. In a study completed by the Highway Loss Data Institute, 60% of the people killed in an animal collision accident were not wearing their seat belts. So be sure to buckle up.

Be safe on the roads this fall season!

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Ashtabula County Beekeepers Association Meeting to be Held on October 17

The next meeting of the Ashtabula County Beekeepers Association will be held on Saturday October 17, 2015 will be held at OSU Extension Office located at 39 Wall Street in Jefferson, Ohio. The meeting will begin at noon with a pot luck dinner. Please bring a dish/dessert to share. The business meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. The meeting’s guest speaker will be Jim Davis, Lake County Bee Inspector. A reminder that a Beginning Bee Clinic will be held on November 7, 2015 and the next general meeting will be held on December 12, 2015. For more information or to register, please contact Sharon Riccio at 440-576-8818 to register.

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26th Annual Beef Banquet to be held on Saturday, November 14 in Lenox, Ohio.

OSU Extension and the Ashtabula County Cattlemen’s Association will be holding their 26th annual banquet on Saturday, November 14 at the Lenox Community Center beginning at 7:00 p.m. Banquet activities will include a prime rib dinner; business meeting; election of one member to the Ashtabula County Cattlemen’s board of directors; entertainment; door prizes; and fine fellowship.

Tickets for the banquet can be purchased from the Directors of the Cattlemen’s Association. Directors are: Bob & Tyler Brown, Dorset Township; Dr. Bryan Elliott, Andover Township, Bart Kanicki, Pierpont Township and Zach Ward, Austin Township. Tickets are $25 per person. Call the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008 for more information. Pre-reservations should be made by November 6, 2015. A program flyer can be found at:

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FSA Reminds Producers of Approaching NAP Deadlines for 2016 Crops

The USDA Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers who are interested in the 2016 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), of the need to apply for coverage by the following crop deadline dates.

Ø October 1, 2015 is the deadline for 2016 NAP coverage on winter wheat, rye, barley and speltz.

Ø November 20, 2015 is the deadline for 2016 NAP coverage on apples, asparagus, blueberries, caneberries, cherries, chestnuts, forage for hay and pasture, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, honey, maple sap and hops. NOTE: Hops is a perennial crop and the application deadline moved from spring to fall for coverage.

Ø March 15, 2016 is the deadline for 2016 NAP coverage on forage sorghum, oats, potatoes, Soybeans, Sunflowers and all spring planted specialty crops grown for food.

The 2014 Farm Bill provides greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops. Previously, the program offered coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production. Producers can now choose higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price. The expanded protection is especially helpful to beginning and socially disadvantaged producers, as well as farmers with limited resources, who will receive fee waivers and premium reductions for expanded coverage.

Eligible producers can apply for 2016 NAP coverage at their local FSA Office using form CCC-471, Application for Coverage. The service fee for basic NAP coverage is the lesser of $250 per crop or $750 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,875 for a producer with farming interest in multiple counties. Producers interested in buy-up coverage must pay a premium, in addition to the service fee. The maximum premium will be $6,564.

Producer meeting the definition of a socially disadvantaged farmer, beginning farmer or limited resource farmer will have service fees waived. Producers meeting this definition that choose to purchase buy-up coverage will also have service fees waived and the premium will be capped at $3,282. To help producers learn more about the NAP program and how it can help them, USDA, offers an online Web tool at The webtool allows producers to determine whether their crops are eligible for coverage and gives producers an opportunity to explore a variety of options and levels to determine the best protection level for their operation. For more information on NAP coverage or obtain coverage, please contact your FSA County office

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Ashtabula County 4-H Fall Festival to be held on October 6, 2015

The Ashtabula County 4-H Fall Festival will be held Tuesday, October 6th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. during National 4-H week at the Expo Building at the County Fairgrounds. This family fun event is held to celebrate 4-H and encourage families who are interested in 4-H to come and learn about what 4-H has to offer. It also serves as a way to end the year for members who are currently enrolled in the program.

Fun fall food, like hot dogs, popcorn, caramel apples and cider will be served for donation to children of all ages. Exciting and interactive games and 4-H program information will also be available during the evening. Attendees are invited to bring their best decorated pumpkin and/or scarecrow for a chance to win great prizes.

If you would like information on the 4-H program in Ashtabula County, please contact Jenna Hoyt at 440-576-9008 or via email at hoyt.88 or by visiting our website at and visiting the 4-H Youth Development page.

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USDA Extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on September 22, 2015 that the deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

“The fall harvest is a busy time of the year for agriculture, so this extension will ensure that dairy producers have more time to make their choices,” said Vilsack. “We encourage all operations to examine the protections offered by this program, because despite the very best forecasts, markets can change.”

Vilsack encouraged producers to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Agency Service (FSA) online Web resource at to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.

He also reminds producers that were enrolled in 2015 that they need to make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee. Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until Sept. 1, 2016. Also, producers can work with milk marketing companies to remit premiums on their behalf.

To enroll in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, contact your local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit Payments under the program may be reduced by a certain percentage due to a sequester order required by Congress and issued pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985. Should a payment reduction be necessary, FSA will reduce the payment by the required amount.

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OSU Searching for OSU Extension Educator for Trumbull County

OSU Extension in Trumbull County is now taking applications (until September 20, 2015) for an Agricultural & Natural Resources Extension Educator. The ANR Educator will provide overall leadership to developing and conducting a proactive applied research and education program in agriculture and natural resources to meet current and future needs in farm management, livestock and crop production, food security, home horticulture/Master Gardeners, commercial horticulture, farm land use issues, innovative agricultural business opportunities, environmental quality and sustainability, renewable energy, and bio-based products.

Required job qualifications include: Master’s degree and at least one degree in agriculture, natural resources, or a related field (plant science is preferred). The successful candidate will have strong written and oral communication skills, and experience working with diverse clientele and organizations; demonstrated success in working as part of a team and initiating collaborative partnerships is sought; leadership ability, and strong teaching and subject matter expertise in at least one area of agriculture is necessary. Candidates must be willing to work flexible hours with minimal supervision. To learn more about this position (Job #400890)or to apply, go to:

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