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Life-preserving reminders

Slow down and stay alert. “Deer have entered a period of increased activity and are crossing roads more often,” says Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. “Now more than ever is a time to use extreme caution while behind the wheel.”
TRR photos by Sandy Long

November 6, 2013

Two timely seasonal reminders are important to take very seriously right now. The first applies to boaters enjoying Pennsylvania’s abundant waterways. The second is pertinent to all drivers utilizing PA roadways.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) notes that beginning November 1 and lasting through April 30, boaters are required to wear a life jacket while on boats less than 16 feet in length or on any canoe or kayak. The requirement applies to all Pennsylvania waters.

When a person is unexpectedly plunged into cold water, the body’s first response is usually an involuntary gasp. Without a life jacket, a victim may inhale while under water and drown without coming back to the surface. If an individual makes it back to the surface, their ability to swim is usually restricted. A life jacket can make the difference between survival and death.

Visit fishandboat.com/safety.htm and www.wearitpennsylvania.com and www.safeboatingcampaign.com/new-jacket-pages/angling-hunting-jackets.htm to learn more about cold water survival.

For everyone driving regional roadways, extra caution is currently called for with deer activity on the rise. According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), several factors are in force.

The end of daylight saving time increases traffic between dusk and dawn—the peak hours for deer movement. Deer are also more active with the approach of their breeding season, known as the “rut,” and are busy feeding to store energy for winter. Hunters and other recreationists might unintentionally flush deer from forests as well.

Motorists should slow down and remain alert, as deer behavior is unpredictable. Deer often travel in groups, so when one is sighted, there is a very good chance that others are nearby. Watch for the reflection of eyes and for silhouettes on the shoulder of the road.

PA residents who hit and kill a deer can take possession of the carcass, but must call the PGC within 24 hours to obtain a free permit. Antlers from bucks must be turned over to the PGC or purchased for $10 per point by the person who claims the deer. Removing antlers from road-killed bucks is illegal.

To report a dead deer for removal from state roads, call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 800/FIX-ROAD.