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Please watch out for deer

Eight deer have been killed along Hodgen Road in the last month, an increase that alarms long-time Black Forest resident Linda Cope, who is also a Colorado licensed wildlife rehabilitator.Cope currently has six fawns under a year old in her care that she plans to release in the near future. ìI am hesitant about releasing my current fawns in this area though, for fear they would just get hit by a car,î she said. Automobile injuries to wildlife are always a problem, but the number of deer killed lately is unusual. She said older deer are unlikely candidates for rehabilitation. ìThe older deer work themselves into a frenzy and usually end up hurting themselves trying to escape,î she said.Cope, who lives along Hodgen Road, said the problem could be higher speeds. ìWhen they repaved and re-did some of the curves along this road, they made this section speed higher, from 45 miles per hour to 55,î she said. Cope said she has contacted the El Paso County Sheriffís Office about the high speeds and plans to call Darryl Glenn, county commissioner, as well. Cope worries not only for the deer, but also for the motorist. ìI donít want any more deer fatalities,î she said. ìAnd I was surprised when I called the county and they said no humans had been injured in the accidents.îAnother theory for the increase in deer and auto collisions is that the Black Forest fire changed the deerís grazing patterns. ìThe fire raged along Hodgen Road, along the south side, and did some damage,î Cope said. ìThey have also been re-seeding this area, and perhaps the deer are attracted to the new grass.îRut season as well as hunting season has started for the deer, but Cope said she has never seen the problem of deer along the road as bad as it is now, even during those seasons.Cope said motorists can avoid hitting a deer by honking their horns repeatedly at them to make the deer afraid of cars. ìI flash my lights at upcoming motorists as well to try to let them know wildlife is near,î she said.

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