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Old 05-09-2018, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,396 posts, read 1,444,315 times
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I like how the last one was bouncing down the road at first!
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:25 PM
 
Location: 912 feet above sea level
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
Deer in Maryland are whitetails, and they're stupid. They've got the brains of bunnies in the bodies of deer, I'm convinced. They panic and bounce around everywhere, right into your car even.

We have mule deer here in Colorado, and I have witnessed urban deer in Colorado Springs stop at crosswalks, stroll calmly down sidewalks, and get calmly out of the way of cars without wigging out and acting all dumb.
It's not a matter of intelligence. It's a matter of population density and numbers.

While Colorado is 8x the size of Maryland, the latter has more people - 12x as many people per square mile, and thus about 12x as many drivers. Maryland also has a much denser deer herd, with 4x as many deer per square mile. Despite the vast tracks of mountain wilderness, which allow many deer to live out their lives without ever having to cross a highway (there are millions of acres of roadless federal wilderness in Colorado - but there is no federal wilderness in Maryland), nearly 5000 of them are still killed by vehicles there every year.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Colorado
13,940 posts, read 8,347,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hulsker 1856 View Post
It's not a matter of intelligence. It's a matter of population density and numbers.

While Colorado is 8x the size of Maryland, the latter has more people - 12x as many people per square mile, and thus about 12x as many drivers. Maryland also has a much denser deer herd, with 4x as many deer per square mile. Despite the vast tracks of mountain wilderness, which allow many deer to live out their lives without ever having to cross a highway (there are millions of acres of roadless federal wilderness in Colorado - but there is no federal wilderness in Maryland), nearly 5000 of them are still killed by vehicles there every year.
Right, but I'm not just talking statistics here, I'm talking behavior of individuals.

When encountering a vehicle or person, most whitetails I've seen go into "blind panic" mode. They fling their bodies in every direction at high speed. Yeah, maybe that behavior is just adapted from being in more danger more of the time, but it contributes to road deaths too. My ex was once driving on a rural road in Iowa, saw a bunch of deer, and stopped. They seemed to be clearing the roadway, so he very slowly crept forward to get past them. Very slowly. Slower than walking speed, slowly. And then one went all "bunny-panic" and flung itself bodily onto the front of his PT Cruiser, bouncing onto the hood and through the windshield. He did not hit the deer, the deer hit him. (EDIT: That particular deer did not die, it was injured but ran off.)

Yet the behavior of the mule deer here, even the urban individuals in the CITY of Colorado Springs, don't run in panic at the sight of a car or go into "Scatter! Zig-zag! Evade the predator!" mode. Unless running across a big street, mostly they just calmly stroll, usually out of the way. My sons and I encountered one on a trail here and it didn't so much as flinch. It glanced at us and kept right on walkin', with the completely chill gait of a horse taking its ease...no hurry whatsoever. And I swear...I SWEAR...I saw one stand at a crosswalk and wait for the light to change. I cannot imagine a whitetail doing anything like that.

They just seem to have totally different behavior. I guess the rabbity thing is not stupid if you're trying to dodge bullets or evade wolves. But it doesn't help against cars.
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