Roadkill numbers big annually in Teton area

Oct 25, 2013 The Associated Press

JACKSON -- Motorists strike and kill an average of 114 mule deer, 36 elk and 15 moose each year on Teton County roads, according to numbers compiled by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation.

The foundation, which combined its own roadkill statistics with data from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Department of Transportation and Nature Mapping Jackson Hole, found that from 1990 to 2012 more than 2,600 deer, nearly 750 elk and more than 350 moose were struck by drivers on county roads.

Not surprisingly, the foundation's roadkill hotline, 734-9454, is busy.

"People call the hotline every day or two," said Lydia Dixon, the foundation's executive director.

The reports involve birds and a variety of smaller mammals as well as large ungulates.

"It's raccoons and possums, too, animals (people) don't usually think about," she said.

While animal-vehicle collisions happen during any season, fall migration makes this an extra risky period. It's the time when elk, for example, head for winter range on the National Elk Refuge and South Park Feedground.

As snow accumulates at higher elevations "lots of game are moving down to the valley floor," said Mark Gocke, a spokesman for Wyoming Game and Fish.

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