Light, slowing down, awareness best defense against moose hits

Posted: Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Information found in (the April 18) paper regarding “sound generating devices” to scare moose and deer is completely wrong. Several states (Utah for one, and I think New Hampshire) installed them on Trooper cars or did other studies and found them totally ineffective except to part suckers from their money. For one thing, they clog easily with snow and debris, and for another speed has to be above 30 mph for them to whistle.

I did a quick search and there is a deer alert device called a Hornet which is an updated version of the older ones with which I am familiar. This one is electronically activated, and operates at all speeds, without being suborned by snow, ice, debris etc., and is apparently far more powerful. I have not found any independent testing to verify their claims as yet — so my opinion as to effectiveness of such devices remains skeptical.

Lights, slowing down, and awareness are your only defenses, and even then sometimes aren’t enough.

The only moose I’ve ever hit was the first night I heard the “Give moose a brake” ad. I thought it was a good idea to, so immediately implemented a 45 mph speed on my 2:00 a.m. nightly trip home. Just as I started slowing down to turn off the highway, WHAM, a cow came out of a deep, grass edged ditch and turned straight away down the middle of my lane. Not a chance to avoid her.

Luck, good or bad, is also a factor, but not something that can be planned for.

Larry Schweigert

Soldotna



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