Sunday, October 2, 2011

Elk Death on 21

Photo by Dan Davis
Nobody seems to get serious about driving slowly until the worst happens. This morning a bull elk was hit on HWY 21 near the old steam mill. It was very sad to see him laying on the side of the road, apparently with a broken neck, still breathing.

Remember that elk during the rut are skittish and amorous bulls wander in a state of distraction. Too often elk watchers are not much better.

There is not much to say that I have not said. There is never a time when it is safe to drive fast in Boxley Valley. The density of all wildlife is high, it is not just an elk thing. During the elk rut, conditions are more dangerous. There are plenty of deer, wild turkey, woodchucks, rabbit, skunks, coon and trumpeter swans. I have seen them all standing in the road, sometimes because some well meaning, but ignorant person has fed them or tamed them.

Another Fatality Along 43
If I could, I would reduce the speed limit in Boxley Valley to 45MPH. That is the fastest speed I recommend for safety. Faster than that, and your chance of hitting animals goes up dramatically because your braking distances go up dramatically. Highways 43 and 21 (basically the same road) are full of blind corners and dips that would block an animal from your view until too late. Elk or deer grazing in ditches can bolt suddenly in front of your vehicle. Is saving 2 minutes over 6 miles worth killing these animals?

Elk Graze Along 43 & 21
Pragmatically, even if you don't care about the animals, hitting a deer or elk can total your car, and occasionally somebody dies. This for saving 2 minutes. Do the right thing. Relax and enjoy one of the prettiest drives in Arkansas.

Drive carefully and be safe, especially during the elk rut, when elk and elk watchers forget about traffic and wander everywhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to comment on my blog. I do moderate all comments, so they will not show up immediately, and in some cases not at all. I draw the line at personal attacks (of me or anyone else), and irrelevant posts. Spammers, don't waste my time.

I may quote your comments without attribution. By commenting, you agree to being quoted in all cases, and for all purposes.