Be Wild Aware! (Dec 2013)

Be Wild Aware!
Posted on 12/20/2013

Although we have very little snow in the valleys, the mountains peaks are getting their share. The snowfall is pushing elk, moose and mule deer to travel down from their high mountain habitats to winter feeding grounds in the valleys. Now is the time to be extra careful when driving, especially at dawn and dusk, and to heed wildlife crossing warning signs.

Wildlife watching in your backyard can be a thrilling experience, but it can be hazardous to encourage elk, deer or moose to enter neighborhoods to search for food treats. During the migration, predators like cougars will follow their prey. Encouraging deer to feed in your yard may also bring their predators to your yard.

Feeding treats to members of the deer family during the fall and winter could also be killing them with kindness. Deer need weeks or months to switch to a new winter diet source of stems and bark. They cannot digest food treats such as vegetables in winter and may die.

Even though spotting a moose or deer is exciting, remember to always observe wildlife from a safe distance. It is not safe to try to touch wildlife or gather around to get a great photo. Crowding an animal can make it stressed and unpredictable. Always give wildlife a lot of space and a clear escape route.  The best way to avoid conflicts with wildlife is to prevent issues from developing in the first place.

Enjoy Utah’s amazing wildlife safely and please share these wildlife safety tips with family and friends.  For more information, visit: