Drivers reminded to watch for wildlife, drive safely

Drivers are involved in more than 6,000 wildlife collisions on Wyoming roadways annually. The majority of those crashes — 80-85 percent — are with mule deer.

10/21/2019 9:40:27 PM

Cheyenne - Drivers are involved in more than 6,000 wildlife collisions on Wyoming roadways annually. The majority of those crashes — 80-85 percent — are with mule deer. The crash risk with mule deer increases in the fall and spring when they follow historical pathways to their winter and summer ranges. While road modifications are being made throughout the state to help with safe wildlife passage, drivers can aid deer to safety as well. 
“Driver behavior can make a tremendous difference in the likelihood of a crash with wildlife,” said Embere Hall, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Laramie regional wildlife coordinator.

The highest risk for collisions are in places where there are large, migratory herds. This is furthered by dawn and dusk hours when wildlife frequent roads at the same time as drivers. Drivers often don’t see deer before a collision, so many crashes can be avoided by reducing speeds during that critical time. 
“The number one action a driver can take is slowing down,” Hall said. “This could be even slower than the posted speed limit. Driving slowly gives you a better chance of stopping.”

Hall also encourages drivers to be mindful of other travelers. If you see wildlife, a flash of the headlights can warn oncoming cars to reduce speeds. Also, leave enough following distance between other vehicles to allow time to react if they hit a deer.

If drivers do collide with deer or other large wildlife on the road or see injured wildlife, they are encouraged to report the accident to Wyoming  Highway Patrol dispatch at 1-800-442-9090. Many deer may appear to be OK, but later die off the road due to broken bones. If the crash does kill a deer, call authorities for help. Do not try to move a dead animal from the roadway as it can be extremely dangerous. 

“The numbers we have are really an underrepresentation of the number of collisions since most people only make a report if there is significant damage to the vehicle or the deer died on impact,” Hall said. 

Drivers are encouraged to:

  • Be as aware as possible while driving
  • Use high beams to see more of the road
  • Scan across the road and rights of way frequently
  • Watch for eyeshine in the headlights
  • Ask passengers to help watch for wildlife
  • Know wildlife is attracted to the road if salt is used as a deicer and during spring green up. 
  • Avoid herding wildlife off the road with your car. If there is a herd, creep up slowly until they disperse. You can honk to encourage them. If they don’t budge, contact Game and Fish.
If planning a trip, maps of areas with high collision rates are available on the Game and Fish website at: Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Initiative

(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))

- WGFD -

  • Wildlife
  • Migration
  • General Information

Are you interested in becoming a hunter education instructor?

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is hosting workshops for those interested in becoming certified Wyoming hunter education instructors. 

Continue reading...

Wyoming Wildlife photo contest winners announced

Photographers from across the nation submitted 3,023 photos to the annual contest

Continue reading...

Wyoming introduces hunter education endorsement for teachers

Teachers can now cultivate conservation ethics in the classroom

Continue reading...

Wyoming Game and Fish Department 2024 season setting meetings

Written comments shall be accepted through 5 p.m. March 29

Continue reading...

State of Wyoming and Bureau of Reclamation collaborate to maintain flows below Jackson Lake Dam

Both agencies will take necessary steps to maintain water flows and protect the fishery

Continue reading...

Funding available for Wyoming sage grouse conservation

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission expects to allocate $548,000 to support local sage grouse working groups

Continue reading...

Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today


Conserving Wildlife - Serving People