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Johnsonburg Deer Problem

A disturbing case of deer jumping to their death has residents in one Elk County town are demanding something be done to stop it.

Douglas Braff went to Johnsonburg and got some answers from government agencies on what could be done.

We want to warn you, some of the video may be upsetting.

The snow may have stopped falling from the sky but for some Johnsonburg residents it continues to rain deer.

“As you can see in the background, there’s a deer that have jumped off this bypass. Recently, since we lived on the other side of the bypass, we’ve had 25 deer jump to their death in a populated area.”

“That end of the bypass is probably more dangerous than any other area, cause that’s the only place that it crosses over a populated area.”

Bill Boylan and other residents tell me they tried reaching out to Penndot but say they did not get the response they were hoping for.

“Penndot apparently doesn’t see the wisdom of putting maybe a diversion fence for the deer, or maybe some nets to catch all the debris that comes off from the snowplows that plow it over.”

“We’ve contacted Penndot on different occasions. Um, also the game commission, the game commission’s been very cooperative.”

Without some sort of barrier Boylan says the deer will most likely continue to jump.

“What happens is here, the deer could be very easily diverted, if they would put up a fence on the point of this hill. They come down off of here. They get frightened out onto the bypass. They panic, one jumps off, and they all
leap off.”

Julie Padasak also reached out to the state and regional Game Commissions she says they pointed her to Penndot . She says she feels this could impact the hunting season in the region.

“All of ’em are doe and that’s, you know, potentially could have been how many more deer populating. If they wouldn’t have died, they are the mothers to carry the, the baby deer.”

And, with the warming weather she fears the bodies will start to stink.

“But they’re literally jumping to death. And that, to me, looking at them, it’s disturbing.”

“We talked to Penndot about the situation. They tell us they are now looking at it.”

“We started taking a look at it, trying to really determine where the deer coming from, you know, how are they ending up on that bridge is really the problem we’ve gotta solve first before we can determine if there’s anything we can do or not.”

He says Penndot became aware of the deer only two weeks ago and that they had a conversation with their people a week ago about the issue.

“So I’d say over the next couple of weeks, we’ll try to get a answer together and, you know, or try to get, at least an idea of what’s going on and what’s causing the problem.”

“We understand where they’re coming from and we we’ll look into it and see if they’re is something that we can do that, you know, involves the roadway that we can make it, you know, safer for the animals and obviously anybody that’s a resident in that area. So yeah, we’ll definitely take a look at it and see what we can do.”

Reporting from Johnsonburg. I’m Douglas Braff.

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