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Studies conclude that deer or any animal may not have time to react to a whistle or may not understand the sound is supposed to be threatening.
Studies conclude that deer or any animal may not have time to react to a whistle or may not understand the sound is supposed to be threatening.

GADGET

Do whistles keep deer off the road? Add to ...

Deer Whistles

  • Available at: Auto supply stores
  • Price: $10.99 and up

Deer, moose, elk, big horn sheep. It doesn’t matter which species is crossing the road. Research has proved auditory deterrents or deer whistles have no effect. Studies by Dr. Rob Found of the University of Alberta, and groups in Utah and Georgia have proved the little whistles attached to bumpers do not scare the animals away.

As the auto moves, the whistle is supposed to alert animals of your presence by emitting a high-frequency noise. But the theory is flawed. Some whistles have the wrong frequency, they are not loud enough or they don’t work at all. The frequency is higher than what humans hear, so we can’t tell if it’s even sending out a signal. (But your poor dog can.)

A 2006 study in northwestern Georgia observed 319 deer and far more than half the time the deer did not change their behaviour when the whistle was attached to a car. All the studies concluded that deer or any animal may not have time to react to the whistle or may not understand the sound is supposed to be threatening.

Best advice is to stay alert. Peak times are full moons, mating season and calving season. And if you see a deer making the dash, slow down – there is usually more than one.

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