Flooding could be to blame for uptick in car/deer collisions


BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Officials are warning drivers across the state to be more cautious for deer.

It’s a common scene many drivers know all too well.

“It’s just scary because you don’t see them,” Barton County resident Tessa Goreham said. “The grass right there was so tall. There’s cattails, so they’re brown and you don’t see them.”

A sight Goreham’s husband didn’t see in time Tuesday evening.

“It was scary,” she said. “The deer bounced off of the vehicle.”

Thursday morning, Goreham’s family vehicle sat in at an auto shop waiting to be prepared.

“The grill is gone, headlights broke, the bumper has a huge dent,” she said.

Officials said many vehicle-deer accidents happen around the fall or harvest but recent floods could be to blame for the uptick in car-deer collisions.

“High water will force animals like deer away from their natural habitats that may be flooded,” said Ron Kaufman, Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism.

“Their habitats been disturbed, so they’re out looking around for places to hold up until the water goes down,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir added.

With more rain coming, Goreham said she and her husband will be extra cautious, so they won’t be running into anymore deer.

“I’m driving a little bit slower,” she said. “That’s for sure.”

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