Valley Journal
Valley Journal

People need to be responsible


Twice last week I’ve stopped on the road to deal with the aftermath of deer-vehicle collisions, neither of my own doing. Both times the animals were on local county roads in broad daylight with 35 mph speed limits. Both times the deer were not deceased.

I will grant that at times these incidents are unavoidable; deer suddenly materialize on the roadway seemingly from nowhere leaving no time to react. Other times, I wonder if the deer was killed by the vehicle or the cell phone.

I was driving behind a new SUV the other day. I could see a doe and fawn standing in the ditch and I noticed I had already put my foot over the brake as I began to wonder if the SUV was going to slow down. It didn’t. The fawn emerged from beneath the vehicle in a tangle of fur and broken limbs.

Was this person texting or seeing how far they could drive with their eyes closed? To her credit she pulled over instead of just driving off, but then she asked me to deal with it, got back in her SUV and drove off.

The second time the doe was left literally in the middle of the road twitching and panting. I pulled her off the road and laid her in the shade under a tree and called tribal dispatch; you might make note of this number 406-675-4700. Her two fawns were milling around in the neighbor’s lawn.

Understand, I’m not a tree hugger. I’ve hunted since I was about 12 and much prefer venison to beef. Maybe it bothers me enough to write a letter to the editor because I’m a hunter. The hunters I know embrace ethical behavior when they take to the field. The ethics of someone that drives over a deer and then just drives off I strongly condemn.

I’m tired of pulling crushed and dying deer out of the road, so could I ask residents to put down the cell phones, open your eyes and drive responsibly – please. And that would include stopping to deal with the aftermath of your actions when you unavoidably do hit an animal, thanks.

Dave Wilkening


Lo 50°

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