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Old 11-27-2012, 08:44 AM   #1
MN-Rider
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Default If this works, it could be amazing for us.

Electronic deer deterrent could prevent over 1 million accidents each year

FOXNEWS story link
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:01 AM   #2
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I'm always skeptical of these things. It's kind of like those deer whistles. They sell you on the premise that deer have supersonic hearing, like dogs. But they aren't dogs, they are deer! In fact, deer hear at the same frequencies as a human being, so if you don't hear it, they don't either.

If it works however, that would be absolutely incredible!

Though according to the article, it's already been effective in certain areas! Although at a cost of $10,000 per mile, it seems like a wildlife fence would be cheaper. We have those here in MO in spots, it's just a tall, simple fence back in the woods, deer can't really jump it, so they don't get on the road.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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The deer hearing is not the problem. They can hear an oncoming car or bike with loud pipes or motor just fine, at least as well as we can. It's their vision that's not great, as they have virtually no depth perception and are prone to run right out in front of something because they can't tell how fast it's moving or the direction. Not sure how a sound device is going to fix that.

Some of my riding friends run electronic deer whistles on their bikes and get a false (in my opinion) sense of security from it, and run 70 mph on highways where the thick trees come right up to the road. I can't help but think it might be making them more, not less, susceptible to a catastrophic event with a deer.

It would be awesome if these things work, but I'm having a hard time imaging them on the 5,000 miles of road in just my state alone, which is thick with deer from stem to stern.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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Article says in addition to sound, it uses a strobe light. I wonder if that makes the difference?
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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I tried to do some research on the whistles a while back.
It is kinda hard to dig through the B.S. though.

What I would like to see is a large scale auto insurance study, or a rural county government study. I didn't find anything very useful; I did find a lot of hearsay.

For a little more hearsay; I can tell you that growing up in rural TX; I knew of quite a few people who hit deer in their cars. None of them had the whistles.

I don't think the sound is meant to scare the deer away from the road; just to let the deer know you are there and traveling (toward them) at a high rate of speed.

I hit a deer with my Mustang when I was a teenager.
There was a herd, they were running across an open field toward the road, it was night and my headlights were on.
I know they saw me, I honked my horn and know they heard me.
They did not make any adjustments to speed or direction.
I think they did not recognize that I was traveling fast enough to catch and hit them.

I don't count on them to keep me safe from deer; but for six bucks (pun intended) I couldn't really find a deterrent to having them.

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Old 11-27-2012, 10:41 AM   #6
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I'm glad we don't have deer here, although there are some just south of here. We do have to avoid kangaroos at dawn and dusk, the most active part of their day.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_in_TX View Post
I tried to do some research on the whistles a while back.
It is kinda hard to dig through the B.S. though.

What I would like to see is a large scale auto insurance study, or a rural county government study. I didn't find anything very useful; I did find a lot of hearsay.

For a little more hearsay; I can tell you that growing up in rural TX; I knew of quite a few people who hit deer in their cars. None of them had the whistles.

I don't think the sound is meant to scare the deer away from the road; just to let the deer know you are there and traveling (toward them) at a high rate of speed.

I hit a deer with my Mustang when I was a teenager.
There was a herd, they were running across an open field toward the road, it was night and my headlights were on.
I know they saw me, I honked my horn and know they heard me.
They did not make any adjustments to speed or direction.
I think they did not recognize that I was traveling fast enough to catch and hit them.

I don't count on them to keep me safe from deer; but for six bucks (pun intended) I couldn't really find a deterrent to having them.

Scott
The problem with the whistles is, anything you can't hear, they can't hear either. My mom totaled her car when she hit a deer with two whistles on the front.

They are only a couple bucks, if they make ya feel safer go for it by all means. (If they really do emit a supersonic sound then they probably will help keep stray dogs off of your path) I'm just not convinced they do anything for deer. Even if they DO make a supersonic sound, it will at best annoy a dog, but deer hear at the same frequencies that you and I do.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN-Rider View Post
Article says in addition to sound, it uses a strobe light. I wonder if that makes the difference?
I think it might. The 'deer in the headlights' is a very true thing. Bright lights startle the deer and, as another poster said, they have virtually no depth perception so they have no idea WHAT is going on and will freeze momentarily. The strobe light could confuse and startle them in such a way that they freeze.

It could also have the opposite effect. When deer are threatened they begin running and jumping in a fairly random zig-zag pattern. Their chief predators are dogs (coyotes, wolves, etc.) who hunt by running after an animal with an intent to 'meet up' with them (they run to where they will be, not where they are). Deer try to fool that by running in random patterns. That's why they get hit by so many cars, they fear a predator and start running in such an unpredictable manner they get hit. That's also why if you see a deer, you need to slow way down. They may be trotting alongside the road, but they could very easily swerve into your lane!
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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I don't know about "supersonic" as I used to use the whistles, and if I had the window down I could hear them just fine. The logic presented was not that it would scare them away, but that the unusual noise would cause them to stop and look around. Deer are naturally skittish anyway, so anything unusual will get them to stop and check it out, to determine if it is a threat or not. Hopefully by the time they figure out flight or, well, flight, you will be by them. They don't consider a big hunk of metal screaming at them at 70 mpg a threat (not the brightest creatures on the planet), but making your car look like a hungry cheetah is much more expensive!
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
The problem with the whistles is, anything you can't hear, they can't hear either. My mom totaled her car when she hit a deer with two whistles on the front.

They are only a couple bucks, if they make ya feel safer go for it by all means. (If they really do emit a supersonic sound then they probably will help keep stray dogs off of your path) I'm just not convinced they do anything for deer. Even if they DO make a supersonic sound, it will at best annoy a dog, but deer hear at the same frequencies that you and I do.
Like I was trying to communicate in my earlier post. There is a lot of 'conflicting' info out there about deer whistles.

Here is a link to a research note from the Journal of Wildlife Management, titled "Hearing Range of White-Tailed Deer as Determined by Auditory Brainstem Response"
(that means they see if the brain is receiving input at certain sound levels)

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.230...21101490072917

I couldn't easily find the link to the full article.
But if you read the notes at the bottom; you will see they state that deer are capable of hearing at least up to 30 kHz. Which is well above the 20 kHz limit that humans can hear.

I am not convinced that whistles do anything for deer either. If I was I would be singing their praises to everyone I meet.

What I do have is some anecdotal evidence. Every deer hit I have personal knowledge of; is without a whistle.

I do know that deer react to sound; sometimes in strange ways. Ask any hunter.
Here is a strange tid-bit.
If you are hunting and the deer you are just about to draw a bead on bolts; try whistling very loudly (even a police style whistle). About half the time the buck will stop dead in its tracks and turn to look your way.

Like I have said; I would love to see a study from an insurance company with a financial interest in the truth.

But, I haven't seen anything too convincing either way... yet.

Scott
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