Watch out for wildlife on the move

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Watch out for wildlife on the move

Photos: Courtesy Idaho Fish and Game
Photos: Courtesy Idaho Fish and Game

 The following is a news release from Idaho Fish and Game , January 4, 2020


IDAHO FALLS – As winter weather brings on a winter wonderland, it  also increases the movement of big game, namely mule deer, elk, and  moose. Animals will migrate to lower elevations where there is usually  less snow, warmer temperatures, vegetation for browsing and thermal  cover. To get to these important winter ranges, they often have no  choice but to cross roads, highways, and interstates—sometimes crossing  back and forth at a particular spot each day.

That’s why drivers  will see more wildlife on or near roads during winter months, like the  large herd of elk recently spotted crossing the highway near Nounan in  Bear Lake County or the groups of deer that go back and forth across the  interstate near Malad. Landowners often see more big game moving onto  their properties this time of year as well, sometimes coming into  livestock feedlines and haystacks.

These  events are common throughout Idaho every winter, but there are things  people can do to help reduce conflicts with wildlife on the move.

– Drivers  are encouraged to be especially watchful for wildlife during winter,  especially at night, or during the morning and evening hours when  animals are most active.

– Drive slower in those areas you know are hotspots for animal crossings.

– Pay attention to wildlife crossing signs and electronic reader boards. They are there for a reason!

– Where you see one deer or elk, there are likely others! Don’t forget to watch for stragglers that jump out at the last minute.

– When  slowing down to avoid wildlife on or near the road, use your flashers  to warn other motorists of your decreased speed and potential dangers of  crossing animals.

– Please report roadkill online via Idaho Fish and Game’s webpage.  Reporting roadkill gives Fish and Game and the Idaho Transportation  Department information to help prevent wildlife losses and make highways  safer. Note that some roadkill can be salvaged, including deer and elk.  Use the same webpage to find out which species are salvageable and the  mandatory reporting requirements to follow.

– If you are a  landowner dealing with conflicts caused by wintering big game on your  property, especially with feedlines and haystacks, please contact the  Fish and Game Landowner-Sportsman Coordinator for your region. In the  Southeast Region, please contact Colby Hay at (208) 232-4703. Fish and  Game has programs and tools to help reduce and manage depredation  impacts.