Reduce the highway carnage – hunt deer

A few days ago the StarPhoenix had an opinion piece complaining about the deer carcasses littering the ditches along the highway south of Saskatoon …

… the carcasses likely are deer struck by vehicles this winter and then covered by snow. It’s the job of Highways crews to clear them away as soon as possible, he says, but along with the spring thaw that exposes the high-speed carnage comes higher priorities such as clearing culverts for the runoff and filling potholes to keep the roadways safe.

Although I certainly understand the department’s priorities, it’s the case in Saskatchewan that thousands of deer are struck and killed by vehicles every year, especially during the peak rut around snowy late November. That means there are thousands of rotting carcasses now coming to light across this province, with no one to remove them.

And with the government promising money to keep those Highways crews at their busiest ever, I wonder if the well-fed crows and piles of bones will become a permanent fixture in our newly “have” province. The “Old West” look of it holds no appeal to me. It’s a lousy visual and not much of a tourism draw. Surely we can afford to contract some people to remove these dead animals regularly instead of leaving it to pothole fillers and culvert cleaners to do when they have some down time.

What strikes me as odd is that there is no mention of the root of the problem, namely the fact that the number of hunters in Saskatchewan is at an all-time low, coinciding with an extremely high deer population after several mild winters.

If more people hunted, there wouldn’t be as many unsightly carcasses littering the ditches, there would be less damage to people’s cars, and people would be eating more lean venison and less fatty beef.

Of course suggesting that more tax dollars be spent contracting people to pick up the carcasses is a much easier sell.

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