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Published July 11, 2011, 10:11 PM

Animal related accidents just another product of MN shutdown

Pelican Rapids, MN (WDAY TV) - Watching for wildlife is always something drivers should do. But an aspect of the Minnesota government shutdown is making it hard to avoid animals on the roadway.

Watching for wildlife is always something drivers should do. But an aspect of the Minnesota government shutdown is making it hard to avoid animals on the roadway.

Mike Henne is one of the many drivers in Lakes Country who unfortunately hasn't been able to avoid hitting a deer on the roadway.

Mike Henne – Lakeland True Value: "We dodge deer on a regular basis... 2-3 a week I bet."

In fact, Henne hit one just yesterday, while on his lunch break from Lakeland General Store.

Henne - "They popped out of the heavy brush, I swerved to the left lane to miss them, and just clipped the hind quarter."

Henne isn't the only one.

Robin Johnson – Lakeland True Value: "Every day someone comes in and says they hit a deer-state roads, county roads, all of them."

More visitors at the lakes means it’s more likely for animal-related accidents to occur.

Sgt. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol: "Some of these rural roads that we see lead to a lot of our lakes area, and those are some of our busiest areas this time of year, with people tourists travelling, vacations, all of that."

A Minnesota government shutdown is stopping workers from mowing grass near roads maintained by the DOT. It adds extra danger because drivers can't see animals as easily.

Sgt. Grabow: "Tall grass. A lot of the time a lot of grass and weeds in the roadway are getting extremely tall also so it makes it more difficult for drivers to see the deer."

The longer the shutdown, the longer the grass.

Larson: "The grass is three foot high and the deer just they can hop right out."

Johnson: "With the tall grasses you aren't going to see them, especially the smaller ones right now."

It’s a reminder to keep your eyes on the road and always be aware.

Johnson: "Even the good drivers that are watching closely, the deer come out of the ditch."

Henne: "Be safe. Slow down, look out.

They may be popping up where you least expect it.

This time of year fawns are finally more mobile than when they were younger, causing does to be seen much more often with their fawns.

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