I am writing because I am concerned about the deer slaughter on Highway 6 between Murray Street and the truck inspection pull off located about half a mile east.
In March I visited our local NDOT office and spoke to “Steve.” I suggested lowering the speed limit to 45 mph for that short stretch due to the number of deer crossing there, and the fact that it can be somewhat challenging for traffic turning left from Murray onto Highway 6 east. I could tell that Steve was only half listening, and was mostly preoccupied with his computer screen. He told me that when highways are built, traffic studies are conducted and speed limits are set. He also said it is “an enforcement problem.” I was under the distinct impression that he wanted me out of his office ASAP, so I left.
I normally leave my house In Murray Canyon just before sun up, and walk to the truck inspection pull out and back home for exercise. This morning I was walking past the dead buck, and observed two does working their way up the hill directly below him. On my way home, the deer crossed Highway 6 at the same spot. In my 14 years of retirement here I think I’ve seen at least 3 or 4 deer yearly killed on that stretch of highway. That adds up to about 40 or 50 deer, what I consider to be a herd.
Last week I saw a spotted fawn killed on that same section. With the range conditions so dry, food and water are scarce, so more and more deer are forced into town and I expect to see more casualties in the next few months.
I believe the Highway 6 bypass carries a lot more traffic than when it was first built. Maybe it’s time to take another look. Since speed limit signs are already in place, it would be fairly easy to simply change the signs. It would really be nice to see some flashing lights like on Little Antelope Summit. I know in Rawlins, Wyoming there are deer crossing signs in the middle of town. I also know Wyoming places a high value on their wildlife.