CDOT reports new wildlife fencing mostly successful, but some smart deer are slipping past | SteamboatToday.com

CDOT reports new wildlife fencing mostly successful, but some smart deer are slipping past

Scott Franz

Crews work to install a wildlife overpass on Colorado Highway 9 near Kremmling.

— State Transportation Commission Chairwoman Kathy Connell has an outside-of-the-box idea for how to solve a problem of deer tiptoeing across cattle guards to get by the miles of new wildlife fencing on Colorado Highway 9.

"My idea was to use mountain lion urine or human urine to keep them away," Connell said. "Deer don't like that."

Connell reported Tuesday that the new wildlife fences have mostly been successful in keeping deer and other wildlife away from a stretch of roadway between Silverthorne and Kremmling that has seen many wildlife-vehicle collisions over the years.

Connell said footage from game cameras shows many deer are starting to get used to using new wildlife underpasses and overpasses to get from one side of the road to the other. But she said other footage shows some deer are outsmarting the cattle guards on the roads that lead from ranches and homes to Colo. 9.

While some ranchers opted to put up gates to keep wildlife out of the roadway, others didn't want the inconvenience of having to open and close a gate when coming and going and opted for cattle guards.

Connell suggested the commission and CDOT would re-engage the landowners who opted not to put up gates or tried some other solution.

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She said something similar to urine deterrent could be used on a temporary basis to encourage the animals to use the new overpasses and underpasses.

Any deer that makes it past the fences to the side of the highway can get stuck there and potentially poses a threat to drivers.

"Humans are famous for underestimating the intelligence of animals," Connell said.

Crews recently finished installing eight-foot-tall wildlife fences and wildlife overpasses and underpasses on a six-mile stretch of the highway just south of Kremmling.

This spring, crews will finish installing the fencing on a few more miles of the road.

The project also added new shoulders to the busy highway.

Crews recently finished installing eight-foot-tall wildlife fences and wildlife overpasses and underpasses on a six-mile stretch of the highway just south of Kremmling

This spring, crews will finish installing the fencing on a few more miles of the road.

The project also added new shoulders to the busy highway.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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