For better wildlife populations, drive carefully on state's backroads

Shane MalawyAll southern Illinois outdoorsmen and motorist are aware that driving the highways and byways of southern Illinois in the months of November and December can be risky business due to the more active and rut frenzied white tailed deer. Few motorists and outdoorsmen appreciate the additional risk that is present during these dog days of summer.

Most of southern Illinois’ wildlife has given birth and the offspring have just now reached the point where they are able to tag along with mom to forage and hunt for food. This can be a delicate time in the lives of the immature order. The juveniles are not yet as cautious as the adults and can meet their demise rapidly and tragically under the wheels of unaware and speeding motorists.

Some will argue that it is a case of natural selection and that “road kill” is just as beneficial for other species. Vultures, coyotes, foxes and other carnivores depend on these easy meals for survival. While this is a valid point, it can also be a mute point. Many a carnivore has been killed by an automobile while trying to snatch up an easy meal from the pavement.

This year looks, at least here in southern Illinois, to be a banner year for all game and fur bearing species especially rabbits, raccoon, deer and skunk. Unfortunately it appears that a large number of the young have been fatally injured on the roadway. While cruising at speed on the highway is unavoidable, a slower, leisure and a more aware drive on the secondary roads can improve the overall health and population of a species as well as create wildlife sightseeing opportunities for you and your family.

While cruising Illinois back roads with your family on a lazy, summer afternoon, please be mindful that there are other families on, and off the road, that would appreciate your careful and safe driving.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Illinois – Shane Malawy, Social Media

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