Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wildlife on the Highway

This past week, I counted six deer killed on that piece of Highway 9 between Beiseker and Irricana!  Their carcasses litter the ditch and attract other critters like coyotes which also risk being victims.  I know some will say "there's lots of deer and who needs coyotes," but just the cost of car repairs must be astronomical!

Here are some of the things I've learned over the years, to avoid hitting a deer on the highway;
  • This time of the year (October through mid December) is the "rut"!  All male deer (bucks) can think about is finding a girlfriend and all the females (does) can focus on is finding a boyfriend.  Traffic patterns are not in the equation!  Be extra cautious behind the wheel during this time. 
  • When you see one of those yellow signs with the jumping deer on it - slow down, and watch the ditches for any signs of the critters.  Especially at dusk and dawn and during the rut! 
  • If you see deer on both sides of the highway or on the highway, Murphy's law says they're going to join up on one side or the other!  Slow down, flash your headlights and tap your horn in very short little toots to draw their attention to you.  They may still cross in front of you but now you're ready for them.
  • Watch for those reflecting eyes.  Deer will often look at an approaching car and you'll see their "eye shine".
  • Many drivers swear by those "deer whistles" attached to the front of the car.
  • If you see one deer cross in front of you, there are likely more to follow, or possibly a predator chasing them!
I know that some collisions with wildlife are unavoidable, but I hope these tips might help you avoid one. 

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