BEND, Ore. - ODOT has a familiar but no less important message for Central Oregon drivers at this time of year: Watch out! There are deer on the road.
It’s the time of year when motorists share our central Oregon highway system with migrating deer. To raise awareness and encourage vigilance, it’s “Watch Out For Wildlife” week, the agency said Monday.
Mule deer are moving from the highlands to lower elevations for winter. In many cases, they must cross our regional highways, including U.S. Highway 97 and state Highway 31.
“We want motorists to know that deer are moving across our region right now, and be on the lookout for them, especially in the early morning and late evening hours,” said ODOT Wildlife Biologist Cidney Bowman.
Many of the deer cross Highway 97 at a “hot spot” just south of Bend, where ODOT has built two wildlife undercrossings, and they are building another one just north of Gilchrist. Many partners, including ODFW, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Oregon Hunters Association and others, have stepped up to provide about $500,000 to help build it.
To learn more, see a video explaining the project at: https://www.facebook.com/OregonDOT/videos/721859454935001/ and be sure to “Watch Out For Wildlife!”