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IDFG asks Idahoans to drive safer for upcoming migration season

Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 19:54:07-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The first day of Spring is March 20 which means snow melts along with warmer weather.

As the seasons change, thousands of big game animals begin migrating, which often involves them crossing many of Idaho's highways and roads. Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) is asking Idahoans to be aware of this shift and drive safer as more animals make their way to summer habitats.

"We have thousands of elk deer and pronghorn that are going to be moving across the landscape in Idaho. Crossing highways, crossing interstates as they head back up to the higher country. So it’s imperative that we just slow down a little bit, especially at dawn and dusk and during the night, and give them a little extra space,” said Jake Powell, regional wildlife biologist.

Many of these animals are nocturnal, moving and feeding mostly at night, making them a hazard when near roadways. Most are in packs as well, so if you see one, there may be others nearby.

“These animals might be traveling 100 miles between their summer and winter range and crossing four, five, or more state highways during the course of that migration,” said Powell.

Truck drivers frequent Idaho's roadways the most, requiring them to be more attentive behind the wheel. Matthew Welch is an instructor at CDS truck school in Twin Falls and says better driving habits should be practiced by everyone to make Idaho a safe place to drive.

“Look further out, you know. Keep an eye on their mirrors and just be totally situationally aware of their surroundings,” Welch said. “Idaho has a lot of wildlife in it and it’s just something that, as a driver in Idaho, we are going to have to be aware of at all times."

For more tips on safe driving during migration, click here.