Kristine Bontaites: (603) 744-5470
Liza Poinier: (603) 271-3211
October 5, 2005
Brake for Moose -- It Could Save Your Life!
CONCORD, N.H. -- Wildlife officials from N.H. Fish and Game remind motorists to take extra care while traveling Granite State roadways at this time of year, because moose are on the move looking for mates. Kristine Bontaites, moose project leader for the Fish and Game Department, says that drivers should be prepared to see and react quickly to moose on or near the road. (In the spring, when yearling moose are out on their own for the first time, even more moose are seen.) Moose are most active at dusk and dawn.
Bontaites urges drivers in New Hampshire to slow down, stay alert, and be prepared to slow or stop for wildlife in or near the road. While moose/vehicle collisions can occur year round, the bulk of accidents occur from April through November with peaks in spring and fall. During the fall breeding season or "rut," moose are preoccupied and indifferent to what's happening around them -- unless it's another moose. Collisions with moose can be extremely dangerous, because when the animal's long legs are taken out from under it, its great bulk tends to land right on the car hood or slide through the windshield.
To avoid a perilous moose-car encounter:
- Drive below the speed limit -- especially at dusk and dawn and nighttime. Moose are very hard to see during these times, because their dark bodies blend into the color of the dark road. They are also much more active at these times;
- Use high beams when possible;
- Be able to stop within the zone of your headlights;
- Constantly scan the sides of the roads as you drive.
According to biologists, approximately 250 moose are struck by vehicles annually. New Hampshire has an estimated population of 6,000 moose.
To spread the word about sharing the roads with moose, Fish and Game launched "Brake for Moose," an award-winning campaign that includes the popular yellow bumper sticker and highway signs. The message is now more than a decade old, but as pertinent as ever on New Hampshire's roads:
Brake for Moose, It Could Save Your Life!
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.
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