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Move Deer Crossings? Really?

After hitting three deer, woman starts campaign to move deer crossings to safer spots

By: Mike Suchan, OutdoorChannel.com

This is too absurd to be believed. I mean really.

With apologies to Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, Wild Card has come across a video that has left jaws dropped and minds boggled. Really.

A woman in Fargo, N.D., has an issue. Anybody would after three vehicle collisions with deer in the past several years, all near signs alerting drivers to WATCH FOR DEER. With a bone to pick, Donna began a letter writing campaign but received no response. Then she contacted TV stations with her complaint and suggestions. No help. Really.

Her plight became widely known via Y94 Playhouse, the morning show on a hit music radio station in Fargo. She contacted Zero, Rat and Maggie, who put her on the air. Here’s what she had to say. Really.

“My frustration is that Minnesota and North Dakota departments of transportation would allow these deer crossings to be in such high traffic areas,” she really said. “Why are we encouraging deer to cross at the Interstate? I don’t get it. That’s such a high traffic area.”

One of the DJs asks, “Are you kidding?” and several snickers were heard, but Donna went on.

“It seems to me that it’s so irresponsible of us to allow these deer crossing to be in areas where these deer are so likely to be struck by oncoming traffic. Wouldn’t you agree?” she asked to crickets. “You would think they would put there crossing maybe in smaller towns. Maybe like at school crossings. It would be a safer place to cross.”

Donna is then informed, in a very nice manner, that the signs aren’t there to tell deer it’s safe to cross, but to alert drivers that it’s an area with high deer density. Now, it was Donna who was incredulous. Really.

“The government put the deer crossings there,” she said, matter of factly. “They can direct the deer population anywhere they want to by moving that deer crossing sign. Why would they place it on the highway or the interstate? There are so many other places that I can think of.”

Poor Donna, she said all that. Really.

And man has she caught some heat.

Y94 callers gutted her, and as soon as she hung up, Donna endured two straight days of her phone ringing off the hook with friends and coworkers stringing her up, ripping her for the faux pas. Neighborhood kids repeatedly stuffed copies of deer crossing signs in her mailbox, and just when things died down, she awoke to a plastic life-size deer in the yard and, you guessed it, a deer crossing sign. Really.

Wildlife are using Wyoming's structures to alleviate collisions with vehicles. (Courtesy WYDOT photo)

Wildlife are using Wyoming's structures to alleviate collisions with vehicles. (Courtesy WYDOT photo)

With images added to her audio, this YouTube video has gotten 6.4 million hits in a month. Now known around Fargo as Donna the Deer Lady, she came back on the show and said her life since has been “like a carnie ride in an odd way.”

Really?

She says she’s owning up to the blunder, telling folks who ask, “Yes, that’s me,” she said. “Now that I’ve had the reasoning for the deer crossing signs explained to me, I feel incredibly stupid.”

OK, Donna, you were really clueless there, but ultimately what you’ve suggested, in a way, has already been done, and deemed a success. Really.

Wyoming has wildlife migrating over highways, and there were a tremendous amount of vehicle collisions. The state came up with a plan to funnel many of those animals under the roadways.

Expensive projects, yes, but the WYDOT is a three-time recipient of the Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative award given by the Federal Highway Administration. So there’s some sense in what she wanted, but Donna, deer can’t read, not even symbols. Really.

Watch the video:


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