Are we concerned about the number of Mule Deer that are being hit on our highways?
I am finding that the senseless mortality of these animals on our local roadways is starting to affect me negatively.
I would like to hear from others that would offer an opinion on this issue, as well as others that can offer some statistics relating to the increase in vehicle/deer collisions, and the financial and personal costs of these collisions.
Personally, I assess that Mule Deer numbers have dramatically increased.
I had an opportunity to discuss this “perceived” increase with a group of conservation officers a couple of years ago.
I was informed that counts of Mule Deer were actually not high and in fact the buck-to-doe ratio was out of balance and due to this imbalance the hunting season would be adjusted and Mule Deer buck harvests would be decreased.
This decrease in harvest is now in place.
I see deer daily and often stop, or blow my horn, to chase them off the road.
Last winter I saw six deer calling the airport corners home, by spring I saw four of them dead.
I am not writing this from a political “pro-hunting” point of view, though I do believe that if an animal dies in a freezer it is a more dignified end than a ditch.
I am writing this because I do not believe that we are doing the best we can for these animals and for the people who collide with them.
Posting warning signs is not due diligence.
I have assisted highways personnel with carcasses both on the road and at the dump.
I have assisted motorists that are reduced to tears because they “have never killed anything before,” and also assisted other motorists worried about the damage on their company vehicles.
I have returned with a flashlight to the scene of a personal collision with a deer, to ensure the animal was no longer suffering.
– Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Ministry of Environment, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Columbia Ambulance service and first Responder Units, what does your data suggest and are these incidents increasing?
Since first writing this letter about two weeks ago, I have seen three more kills all on or around the Mackenzie Avenue and Highway 97 connector in Williams Lake.