Peninsula Deer Hunt Set for December

It may look like a hunter is shooting down one of Santa's reindeer next month along 280. But don't be alarmed.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011  |  Updated 11:55 AM PDT
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Heads up peninsula drivers: You may see something very unusual during your drive along I-280 next month.

In fact it will appear down right un-Christmaslike. With armed men and women aiming rifles at defenseless deer.

Game wardens will be out hunting down the hoofed animals in hopes of finding a way to reduce vehicle collisions along that corridor.

The wardens will look like hunters, but their rifles will be far more peaceful. They will be filled with tranquilizer guns.

Not all of the animals will be hit with a tranquilizer. Some will be netted in traps instead.

The hunt is scheduled to take place the weekends of Dec. 2 and Dec. 9.

Once the deer are captured, they will be fitted with radio collars to track their movements and better understand how to keep them from crossing the highway.  

The radio collars are not permanent jewelry for the deer. They automatically drop off in about six months.

Because the study is specifically about deer collisions on the highway, the deer that will be tracked need to be those already close to the danger zone.

The CHP wants drivers to know they may see something that looks hunting while driving on 280, but that it is all for the safety of the both the deer and the drivers.

The 18 month study is funded by Caltrans, executed by UC Davis and comes with the help of the California Department of Fish and Game

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