Mule deer

Collisions with mule deer have been on the rise lately, according to Idaho State Police.

POCATELLO — Idaho State Police have responded to a rash of accidents involving deer recently, according to Lt. Mike Winans. Winans said District 5 responded to three crashes on Sunday alone, none of which involved serious injuries. One crash involving a Bannock County deputy occurred Sunday night on Highway 30 near Price Road, he said. Another Sunday night crash occurred on Interstate 15 near milepost 56, he said. The third crash occurred late Sunday on I-15 near milepost 25, he said. “Last week there was a bunch of them, too,” Winans said. “We don’t normally see this amount. ... My night shift has been taking probably a deer crash per night.” Winans warns that I-15 from Pocatello to the Utah border is a dangerous corridor for collisions with deer. “I think it would be a good idea to slow down at night,” Winans said. Eric Freeman, regional wildlife biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, hasn’t seen specific data regarding an increasing trend of deer collisions, but believes there are two likely explanations. First, he said there are many young fawns that lack experience and may be apt to step in front of a car. Furthermore, their parents may be watching their young more closely than traffic. Second, he said the hot and dry weather may be forcing deer to head to low ground more often to find surface water. Typically, Freeman said deer can go a day or two without water by subsisting on the moisture from their forage. “The water situation is fairly severe this summer and deer are moving a little bit more down to creek bottoms actually looking for water,” Freeman speculated.

POCATELLO — Idaho State Police have responded to a rash of accidents involving deer recently, according to Lt. Mike Winans.

Winans said District 5 responded to three crashes on Sunday alone, none of which involved serious injuries. One crash involving a Bannock County deputy occurred Sunday night on Highway 30 near Price Road, he said.

Another Sunday night crash occurred on Interstate 15 near milepost 56, he said. The third crash occurred late Sunday on I-15 near milepost 25, he said.

“Last week there was a bunch of them, too,” Winans said. “We don’t normally see this amount. ... My night shift has been taking probably a deer crash per night.”

Winans warns that I-15 from Pocatello to the Utah border is a dangerous corridor for collisions with deer.

“I think it would be a good idea to slow down at night,” Winans said.

Eric Freeman, regional wildlife biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, hasn’t seen specific data regarding an increasing trend of deer collisions, but believes there are two likely explanations.

First, he said there are many young fawns that lack experience and may be apt to step in front of a car. Furthermore, their parents may be watching their young more closely than traffic.

Second, he said the hot and dry weather may be forcing deer to head to low ground more often to find surface water. Typically, Freeman said deer can go a day or two without water by subsisting on the moisture from their forage.

“The water situation is fairly severe this summer and deer are moving a little bit more down to creek bottoms actually looking for water,” Freeman speculated.