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Drought Bringing Deer Onto Utah Roads

Drought Bringing Deer Onto Utah Roads

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Shelley Osterloh ReportingIt may be raining, today, but the drought has still caused its problems. Now, deer are beginning to wander down into the city in search of food and water.

Wildlife officials are warning drivers to be on the lookout because deer on the road can be dangerous.

Deer are common along the Wasatch Front and some occasionally wander down into the valley. But recently, there are an increasing number of calls to the Division of Wildlife to pick up dead deer on city roads and highways.

On this day, deer will keep one DWR conservation officer busy.

Mike Roach, DWR Conservation Officer: "We've got four deer, people have asked us to come pick them up, These animals are deadl they've been hit by a car. We’ve got one deer that is in somebody's back yard, they would like us to either scare it off or move it."

Officer Roach says they expect more calls in July, but the drought has meant deer are searching a wider area for food and water and coming right down into the valley, in one case right on to 1-215.

Mike Roach, DWR Conservation Officer: "It seems to be earlier and a little bit more frequent."

Conservation officers say most people call and report the deer to be picked up because they don't like to see them, but the truth of the matter is that deer on the side of the road also serve as a warning to other drivers that deer are in the area.

Mike Roach, DWR Conservation Officer: "If you see one deer you should be looking for another. You should also slow down because what that deer is going to do, it’s hard to predict what its going to do."

Hitting a deer can cause severe damage to vehicles and may injure those inside.

Mike Roach, DWR Conservation Officer: "We have wildlife in an around us all the time and a lot of people really enjoy seeing the wildlife. We just need to know that they are there and try to be careful and not hit them."

Drivers must be especially careful at dawn and dusk when deer are on the move.

Conservation officers say other animals are wandering down into populated areas as well. Just this weekend officers had to relocate some Mountain Sheep that had come down into Utah Valley.

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