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Residents concerned about city deer and collisions

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Every year, 6,000 big game animals get hit in the state of Wyoming, adding up to $50 million in property and Big Game loss.

“I’ve just seen the city grow around the county. In the last 5 years the majority of them (deer) are getting run over between Highway 30 and East Pershing. I’ve probably seen at minimum of 8 young ones hit,” said Nick Micheals, resident.

In 2017 the Wildlife Roadway Summit got together various departments to gather data on the impact of big game and roads collisions.

According to the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish, the average amount of damage done to vehicles that hit Big Game is over $11,000 across the state.

One hundred and forty roads were identified as big game collision heavy areas, and U.S. 30 was placed on the lower end of this spectrum.

Although relocation, fences and signs are options, limited funding cuts the number of roads can be altered.

The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish and some public and private contributors are building nature underpasses, corridors, and fencing to deal with the issue, but there are obstacles.

“Funding is limited and so is time...We had to focus on the areas of the greatest concerns. There are other areas of the state where we see many more game animals get hit each year. So on Highway 30 there might be a dozen a year. Some places in the state it’s well over 100 animals a year, " said Robin Keppler, Information and Education Specialist for the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish.

Urban Big Game continues to be a problem since wildlife is attracted to the vegetation and lack of predators in suburbs as cities grow into the deer’s habitat.

Drivers can help to be more aware when driving at dusk and dawn, use high beams, and scan roadways.

The public can also go to the Wyoming Game and Fish website and visit the Wyoming Wildlife and Roadway Initiative and donate through Wildlife Conservation License plates for wildlife conservation to help Big Game collision prevention.

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