Nov 18, 2013 - From staff reportsAs the weather changes, many big game animals leave their summer and fall ranges for traditional wintering areas.
Migration routes often lead animals into conflict with motorists as they cross highways on the way to these areas. In addition, big game animals often are drawn to areas along roadways to seek better forage that results from road runoff moisture, and areas recently seeded after construction. Motorists are urged to be on the lookout at all times as animals may be on the move, but it is the dusk to dawn period when animals are most active.
Two local areas of high wildlife traffic are Wyoming Highway 28 between Lander and South Pass and Wyoming Highway 26/287 between Crowheart and Dubois.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department advises people to be aware of roadside surroundings.
Following a few simple steps can prevent many wildlife collisions:
- Slow down.
- Expect wildlife and scan the sides of the roads.
- Use headlights and stay alert while driving at dusk, dawn and at night.
- If you see one elk, deer or antelope by the road, expect there to be more nearby.
- If an animal is on the road, expect the unexpected.
- If you encounter an animal crossing the road, switch your headlights to low beam so that they are not blinded and can move out of your way.
- Give the animal time and room to move off the road. Do not try to outrun it.
- If you see a wildlife-crossing sign, pay attention. It is there for a reason.
- Do not swerve to miss an animal. Steer toward the animal's hindquarters, because they most often will move forward.
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