Motorcycle Rider Training and Skill Development

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Spring/Summer 2017


Riders Beware: ODOT Warns of Migrating Deer


 Wildlife in Roadway with Motorcyclist
If you encounter an animal on the roadway, reduce your
speed and try to stay in your lane. Many serious crashes
result from swerving to avoid wildlife.

BEND – With spring at hand, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is advising motorists to be on the lookout for migrating mule deer on US 97 and other Oregon highways.

“Deer migration is beginning in early April this year,” said Cidney Bowman, wildlife biologist for ODOT, “So motorists need to be on the alert for deer on the highways.”

The bulk of the deer migration starts in early April and extends until mid-May this season in central Oregon. ODOT expects the deer to be moving in large numbers through the hotspot corridors along US 97, US 20 and OR 31. Most of the animals will be traveling during the dawn and dusk hours, but motorists can expect to see them at any time. “Motorists need to know that if they see one deer, there probably are more nearby”, said Bowman. “Dawn and dusk are especially critical times for motorists to be on the lookout.”

Riders are particularly vulnerable in deer crashes because they lack the protectiion of enclosed vehicles. TEAM OREGON advises motorcyclists to avoid riding from dusk to dawn, particularly during the spring green-up and fall rutting seasons. However, riders should expect to encounter deer at any time and be ready to respond:

  • Be prepared for deer no matter where or when you travel in Oregon.
  • Deer can be unpredictable. When you spot one near the roadway, slow immediately and prepare to stop.
  • Beware of vehicles behind you when slowing. Flash your taillight if time allows.

For more information on deer migration, crossings and the impact on Central Oregon Highways visit the ODOT website.

About Us

TEAM OREGON is a cooperative partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State University, providing statewide training, education and outreach for riders of all levels of experience and riding ability. Since 1984, the program has trained more than 180,000 riders.


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