Warm weather means deer are on the move

Deer crossing. photo by John Savage

MANITOULIN—The January thaw has meant that many drivers have seen an increase in deer on the road or in nearby fields on Manitoulin.

According to Lisa Keable, regional outreach specialist, Northeast Region, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), the mild weather has allowed deer and other wildlife to travel more freely due to decreased snow depth.

“In some places, there is very little snow along the roadside which allows for easy movement, resulting in less energy being spent by deer while travelling,” Ms. Keable added. “Deer are currently looking for a winter food source and open fields with less snow allow them the opportunity to browse more easily.”

Many Islanders also believe the deer are drawn to the roadside salt.

The MNRF also reminds the public of the following: animals seen at the side of the road or in the roadside ditch can suddenly run onto the road, so slow down enough to avoid a possible collision; drivers who see animals along the road should also sound their horns in a series of short bursts; and at night, motorists should blink their headlights to warn the animals and give them a chance to move out of the way.

Motorists should take extra care where: roads cross creeks or rivers; there are wooded corridors, field edges run at a right angle to the road; fences meet roads; and wildlife crossing signs are posted.