WOODSIDE (CBS SF) – Starting next month, game wardens with tranquilizer guns might be visible along Interstate Highway 280 in San Mateo County.

Caltrans is funding a study by the University of California at Davis to track deer movement in order to reduce deer versus vehicle collisions along the Highway 280 corridor, state Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Janice Mackey said.

Biologists from the DFG and UC Davis will be in the Woodside area between Dec. 2 and Dec. 11, aiming to put radio collars on 15 deer that will help track their movements in the area over an 18-month period, Mackey said.

Some deer will be trapped and others will be shot with tranquilizer dart guns.

The California Highway Patrol is alerting motorists that some of the trapping activity might be visible from the highway, which runs along vast tracts of open space, including the San Francisco State Fish and Game Refuge.

The radio collars will automatically fall off the animals after about six months, and another set of 15 deer will be collared for a second phase of the study, according to the DFG.

The goal of the study is to protect the regional deer population as well as safeguard drivers, Mackey said.

On Sept. 22 at 8:10 p.m., a San Jose man suffered fatal injuries in a crash that occurred after his car hit a deer on Highway 280 near Alpine Road, according to the CHP.

Daniel Strickland, 27, stopped on the highway after the collision with the deer and was then struck from behind by another driver who didn’t see his car.

Strickland was taken to Stanford University Hospital, where he died from his injuries on Sept. 23.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. NRA Life Member says:

    This is one of the top ten dumbest things I’ve ever heard of.

    So the California brain trust is going to track deer for 18 months. To what end? After compiling all of this data, are they going to train the deer to alter their routes to avoid crossing paths with a car? Not possible?

    Maybe they’ll realize the land that was claimed from the wilderness for I-280, encroached upon the deers’ historic habitat and, wanting to be the feel-good environmental stalwarts that they are, use billions of dollars that don’t exist to eradicate I-280 and reconstruct it in a different area where there are no deer. Not feasible? As if there is such an area.

    How about a billion dollar, 12 foot high fence bordering the freeways? Ha!

    Of course California could never learn anything from other states’ wildlife management programs, even though they have much larger deer populations. California is much smarter than every other state, right? What a joke and a waste of money.

  2. Not an NRA life memeber says:

    🙂 At your California comment, pray tell, how would you suppose other states commenced their programs? Would not they need to know the wildlife, first? Yes, it’s unfortunate the roads werre built with little Habitat Connectivity in mind, but these people seem to be doing something about it.
    And how else would you suggest they find out where the deer cross succesfully, thus indicating where to direct them to cross with proper fencing? Should they pay someone to sit on a grassy knoll with a pen and paper from dusk till dawn? Watching? It’s a danger. $300,000 isn’t worth saving a life or a motorcyclist from getting maimed? Ok. PS – the fencing won’t cost a billion dollars. But thanks for your dramatic humor.

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