N.S. motorcycle riders say more should be done to control deer population
As friends and family prepare to say farewell to a Nova Scotia man who lost his life when his motorcycle hit a deer on a busy highway, fellow bikers say the province could be doing more to prevent such accidents.
Some in the biking community believe there are more deer on the roads these days, although the government disputes that.
These are sad times for the Bikers Down Society, of which Jimi Swinamer is president.
The organization is dedicated to improving safety for bikers, and providing aid to those who are injured.
Right now, he says, one of the biggest hazards are deer.
“If you cut back the highway, then hopefully you can see the deer when they're moving, because they move at night,” said Swinamer. “They very rarely move in the day other than now. They're so over-populated. They're everywhere.”
They were certainly near Ingramport, N.S., last Tuesday night, when a group of four motorcyclists ran into one on Highway 103.
Wade Hall, 49, lost his life in the crash.
Hall, who is originally from New Ross, was home from working in Alberta.
His obituary says he was very much looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild later this year.
A roadside tribute has grown since it first went up last week; pieces of the shattered bike have been incorporated into the memorial.
Longtime CTV employee Dave Ehler had his own close call the same night.
Diverted from his usual route home while police investigated the accident, he hit a deer on a secondary highway.
While it shook him up, it's not enough to keep him off his bike.
“(It will) just make me more cautious and realize how quickly accidents can happen,” Ehler said.
But the Nova Scotia government isn't convinced there are more deer to worry about.
“There have been no significant changes in the population,” Lisa Jarrett, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia Lands and Forestry, told CTV in a statement. “Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, so extra care when driving is recommended at these times of day.”
Swinamer thinks he has a solution.
“We may have to look into getting fencing or doing a cull of the deer,” he said. “Anything that's going to make it safer, but not only for bikers, because this is happening to cars, too.”
The Bikers Down Society has reached out and provided help to one other motorcyclist who was injured near Ingramport, and Swinamer says the group is always ready to do the same for others.
Hall’s loved ones will gather for a celebration of life in New Ross on Saturday afternoon.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.