Deer migration hazard around region. Motorists urged to use caution
Note: This press release is a few days late from original release, however we felt it was important to share for those who may have not read it yet.
There have been many reports of vehicle vs deer accidents in our area. Deer have been making regular crossings on HWY 140 east and west, HWY 97 and HWY 31 along with other locations including a heavy concentration of deer on the Crater Lake Parkway north of Portland Street before Campus.
BEND – It’s the time of year again when motorists need to be wary of wildlife on Central Oregon highways. It’s “Watch Out For Wildlife” week.
This is when mule deer, for the most part, will be making their way from the highlands to the lower elevations for winter. And in between the deer and their destination lie a few ODOT highways, including US97 and OR31.
Many of the deer are bound for the Fort Rock area and there’s a deer “hot spot” just south of Bend near US97…so that’s an area for particular attention for motorists. It’s also an area near which ODOT has built two wildlife undercrossings that have proven effective in nearly eliminating deer-vehicle crashes. ODOT will be building another wildlife crossing just north of Gilchrist at the site of a project to add passing lanes to the highway.
(A video explaining this project is available at:https://www.myowf.org/gilchristcrossing )
ODOT will be engaging our community about the potential for deer – vehicle collisions throughout the week and beyond, including posting messages on our overhead message boards along US97. (photo attached) ODOT is also partnering with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Forest Service to alert motorists to be aware of this season’s migration.