More deer are eating - and dying - in Horsham than in years past, officials said.
After a resident shared with the Horsham Township Council that deer have wreaked havoc on his property's vegetation, the governing body agreed that herds milling about the township have grown as compared to previous years.
"The deer that are hit by the cars on the side of the road, it increases every year," Horsham Township Manager Bill Walker told the resident.
According to State Farm Insurance, the likelihood of those deer-related crashes are increasing at a fever pitch. The company estimates that 2.4 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. during the two-year period between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009.
In Horsham, between 55 and 65 vehicle crashes per year involve deer, according to Horsham Police Lt. Jon Clark. From Dec. 1, 2011 through the end of November 2012, Clark said 47 accidents involving deer were reported. During the previous year ranging from Dec. 1, 2010 through Dec. 1, 2011, 50 were reported and the two previous years 59 and 62 were reported, according to Clark.
Council President Mark McCouch acknowledged that the township has a deer "problem."
"I guess we will have to address it at some point," McCouch said. "Stay tuned."
Walker said deer grazing has not yet become problematic at Horsham's more than 800 acres of parks and open space. If that changes, Walker said a controlled deer hunt at one of the several township-owned parcels, including the Strawbridge property, Cedar Hill Road Park, or the Hearne property could be an option.
"There are parcels that are big enough," Walker said of a controlled hunt. "I'm not saying we're going to have one."
Click here to read State Farm's tips for avoiding a collision with deer.