Vernon mom has had enough with deer carnage on Highway 6 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon mom has had enough with deer carnage on Highway 6

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A Vernon mom says mangled and dead deer hit by vehicles have become a disturbingly common occurrence on her daily school run.

During her drives along Highway 6 to the Okanagan Waldorf School, Amanda Daniell said dead and injured deer have become a weekly sight.

“It's horrific they're, like, ripped in half,” Daniell told “We came across one deer that had gotten caught under the grill of a four-by-four truck. She was lying on the side of the road barely able to breathe. All her legs were broken.”

These events have taken a toll on Daniell and her 7-year-old daughter who often sees the injured deer from the car.

“I happen to love animals and deer very much," Daniell said. "So, seeing them injured is extremely traumatizing. Plus my daughter was six last year, seven this year, and we can't help but see them as we're driving. So, she's traumatized as well.”

Daniell said she usually stops when she sees an injured deer and tries to help. Although, sometimes it can be difficult to know what to do.

This week there was an injured deer right in the middle of the road.

"I must have been one of the first people who saw her because I just immediately pulled over,” she said. “She was panicking and her leg was broken and she was trying to get away from the vehicle and she couldn’t."

A logging truck passed by the injured animal, narrowly missing its head by just a few inches. 

“At that point, I mean I was kind of hysterical because she was in so much pain and my daughter and my mom were in the car crying," Daniell said. "A man got out of his truck and he came and he looked at her and didn't really know what to do, but decided to pull her by her two front legs... across the highway over into the snow.

"Then, another logging truck came from the other direction and he stopped. He got a sledgehammer and he came over and pounded her skull three or four times. It was incredibly loud and horrific to see, but I think it was probably the right thing to do because she was obviously in extreme pain.”

Highway 6 attracts a lot of passing deer from the surrounding agricultural land but it also attracts a lot of speeding drivers.

“I can't be sure but it seems like the big four-by-fours and the big trucks are the ones that don't slow down. Especially in unsafe conditions, and I suspect they're the ones that often hit the deer.”

Daniell has been working hard to advocate for the deer on Highway 6 and created a petition over a year ago to create deer pathways.

But the issue is complex and not something the City of Vernon has much jurisdiction over.

A Vernon communications person told that while the city does occasionally receive reports of deer being hit on Highway 6, all issues related to highways are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation, not the municipality. 

Vernon conservation officer Michael Richardson says drivers should always contact the conservation officer service if they come into contact with a dead or injured deer.

“Conservation officers will respond to reports of wildlife killed or injured on roads or highways, especially if the wildlife presents a risk to public safety. An example of that would be creating a traffic hazard or if the animal is injured and is still present on the scene. So, if people come across that, they can call our RAPP line 24 hours a day.”

Richardson said conservation officers will usually track and monitor injured deer if they receive a report from the public. In some cases, drivers will want to take the deer into their care. However, to do this, the individual will need to obtain a permit from Front Counter BC to keep the animal in their possession.

Although, sometimes, it's best to put the animal out of its misery.

“Sometimes we aren't available or the police aren't available to attend and, you know, we appreciate that people want to take that on, to put the animal out of its misery. We'd still appreciate a call before they do that. They can call the RAPP line to say the deer is suffering and then we'll let them know if we can't attend at that time and then, certain times, we do give permission for the person to put down that deer.”

Richardson is aware of the high numbers of deer being killed near Vernon and throughout the province.

“They're most active in the mornings and in the evenings,” he said. “So, we really would like the public to really be cautious at those times and to slow down. Especially if there's bush around.”

To report an injured or dead deer contact the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Georgina Whitehouse or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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