Researchers fit deer with GPS collars

Study aims to reduce deer-auto collisions on I-280

The state's Department of Fish and Game announced this week that it has successfully completed the first phase of a project to capture and monitor deer along a 13-mile stretch of Interstate 280 on the Peninsula.

The project, funded by Caltrans and carried out by DFG officials and researchers from the University of California at Davis, is an effort to help reduce the high number of collisions between deer and automobiles along the highway between Millbrae and Woodside.

There are roughly 100 collisions between cars and deer each year in the area, including a fatal crash this past September on I-280 near Alpine Road, according to DFG spokeswoman Janice Mackey.

Using tranquilizer darts fired from a rifle, DFG officials sedated 14 female deer and fitted them with global positioning system collars that will record their location and send it to the UC Davis researchers via satellite, Mackey said.

Blood and hair samples were also taken from the animals, as well as length and weight measurements as part of an overall health inspection, according to the department.

The researchers will track the deer as they move along the area or onto the roadway itself.

The collars have automatic release mechanisms that will cause them to fall off after six months. At that point, officials plan to go out to sedate about 15 more deer for the study, Mackey said.

She said researchers want to have tracked a total of 45 animals by the end of the two-year project.

In the fatal crash earlier this year, a San Jose man was killed after he struck a deer on the highway on the evening of Sept. 22.

Daniel Strickland, 27, stopped his car after hitting the deer, then was struck from behind by another driver who didn't see his car, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Strickland was taken to a hospital where he died a day later.


Posted by Fred, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

What an absolute waste of time and resources. Simply allow licensed ethical hunters to control the numbers during hunting season. The rules are already in place and it could be an enormous revenue generator during this recession. Sedating deer is not a smart thing to do and puts enormous stress on the animal. Their exploding numbers have deer wandering into neighborhoods...followed by mountain lions. The fatalities above are unnecessary and preventable.

Posted by Local native, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I agree completely with the above comments by Fred!

Posted by Amy, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

As tragic as these types of accidents are, many of these injuries and fatalities can be reduced by opening up these wildlife areas to hunters. There are proven benefits to animal and people by controlling population herds through hunting.

Posted by Deer Friend, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

This assanine, inhumane project should be stopped at once! It is dangerous harassment to the deer and a waste of taxpayer money. What is the GPS tracking going to tell these junk-scientists, that a lot of deer live in the corridor along I-280? Duh! Try higher fences. Hunters could thin out some but not all and that sport is way too dangerous this close to civilization.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 17, 2011 at 9:36 am

I cannot imagine what they expect to learn from this waste of tax payer dollars - that deer sometimes cross the highway?

I agree with Fred.

Posted by Donald, a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Yeah, who needs facts and data, anyway? If supposition, superstition and folklore were good enough for my grandparents, they are good enough for me.

Posted by Anti-Gun Neighbor, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:10 am

The comments from my neighbors are worrysome to me. All we need are reckless hunters in the I-280 corridor! Perhaps you can get Dick Cheney to join your little NRA rifle-toting group and we animal-loving citizens can sleep well at night knowing that you are out and about protecting us from Bambi and her offspring. Merry Christmas, heartless Scrooges!

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 18, 2011 at 9:39 am


who said anything about guns. Ever heard of bow hunting? There are far too many deer in the I280 corridor. They cause accidents all of the time. The herd needs thinning.

Posted by Anti-Gun Neighbor, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 18, 2011 at 10:55 am

Menlo Voter,
The concept of bow hunters does not bother me as much as the thought of gun-toting hunters. However, I think that it is premature to set any group of hunters loose in our hills.
Are bow hunters licensed? If so, is their licensing tied to their completing some level of training? I find that a disturbing percentage of gun enthusiasts are not trained, feel empowered by carrying a weapon, and are, therefore, quite dangerous.
Also, are there enough Fish & Game personnel to monitor the safety of this hunt? Staffs everywhere seem to be being cut.
I really do support the conservative and thoughtful plan that the Fish and Game is implementing with their study. Information is never bad.

Posted by Robin Hood, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm

If any of you have seen the statistics and pictures of wild animals running around with arrows sticking out of them, you'd not be an advocate of such a cruel, brutal, archaic sport. It is rare that an arrow kills instantly. The usual result is an arrow lodged somewhere in the body and the poor animal dies slowly and painfully of massive infection or worse. Higher fences, that's the answser to highway deer-collisions. As the deer proliferate, so do the coyotes, mountain lions and other natural predators. Let them control the deer population naturally, not us.

Posted by Fred, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Ignorance shows its face around the world before the educated get out of bed. Hunting is an annual harvest event. Most hunters know the habitat, respect the animals and take the game in a clean, quick manner. They are skilled trackers and never let an animal suffer. Those who act outside of these principles are called Poachers.
Ethical hunters do not tolerate those who act irresponsibly. No one can hunt in CA without completing and passing a thorough examination and aptitude test. It is regulated and a revenue generator for the state from fees collected. Perhaps facts are being confused with Hollywood's depiction of the irresponsible. Amusing those who cite Bambi reveal the extent of their education. Those who are "anti" everything are viewed as simple minded tomato throwers.

Posted by Amy, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I hope Robin Hood in Menlo Park does not make a complaint when a mountain lion is sitting in his backyard. I'm sure the deer would prefer an even slower death after being hit by a car...have you seen those statistics?

Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Dec 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

Why not put them on school age children who are being kidnapped in the U.S. at an increasing rate.Especially by those more interested in the drinking age rather than the amount of kidnap/murders.
This is an odd area.
Those who find that too "Orwellian" can read James Baldwin.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 20, 2011 at 10:24 am

Off topic, but Mr. Gordon is wrong , as usual. Child abductions are declining, at least in this state. Per the California Department of Justice: Web Link

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Dec 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Yeah, the bow hunting isn't always a good idea, Ted Nugent aside. This is a real pickle. Maybe these GPS-wearing deer can be used to guide Santa's sleigh?

Posted by Anti-Gun Neighbor, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

Exactly how do conscientious hunters not tolerate irresponsible hunters?
Are you amused by my doctorate degree?
While not being "anti" everything. I've also never been accused of being a tomato thrower. On the contrary, I do grow prize-winning tomatoes in my vegetable garden.
What have you done on a positive note lately?

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Mr. Gordon:

if you bothered to look at the link you would see you are wrong. Abductions have declined in the US.

And please stop shouting.

Posted by Actual Hunter, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Anyone who understands how many people are hiking,biking and otherwise enjoying that area, and supports hunting in that crowded area, are NOT the type of hunters you want. I absolutely support hunting, but not in an area that's so ripe for a tragedy. To simply open it up to hunters is a simple answer for people who don't understand the complex nature of the area.

Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Dec 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

This is as large as I am able to print here although I would like to emphasize with huge letters when I see some of the foolish thinking which is mostly controlled by the editor who is on the daily thinking squad's side and eliminates 70% of my posts with due cause.
is there a place to make large fonts on this novice board?

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"eliminates 70% of my posts with due cause." So right, with due cause.

Why do this miss the other 30%?

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