RURAL PAXTON — Drivers be warned: The deer that roam the Dogtown area southeast of Paxton in Button Township aren’t scared of cars and trucks.
Deer in headlights have been a common sight in that rural area of Ford County, with a reported 33 vehicle-versus-deer collisions reported to the Ford County Sheriff’s Office in 2015, according to Button Township Highway Commissioner Ron Hilligoss.
"Suicidal Deer" reads a yellow road sign installed just south of the rural intersection of county roads 2250 East and 200 North.
The sign was installed by the Ford County Highway Department about six weeks ago, said Hilligoss, a Clarence resident.
"My nephew sent me a picture of one of these signs out in Colorado about six months ago. He texted it to me, and I thought it was really a good thing because it gets your attention," Hilligoss said. "So we had a Ford County Highway Department meeting and I said, ‘Can you get me these signs?’"
Four "Suicidal Deer" signs were purchased by the highway department for $42 each from a sign company out of northern Chicago, Hilligoss said, but only one is installed. Hilligoss wants to see whether that one will last before putting up the others.
"I’m just waiting to see who puts bullet holes in it or steals it," Hilligoss said.
The county has already "got a lot of mileage" out of the sign, Hilligoss said.
So far, he noted, not one accident involving deer has been reported in 2016.
"A lot of people see it," Hilligoss said. "If you ask anybody where a deer crossing sign is, they couldn’t tell you, but they know where that one is at.
"It’s just nice to see something that constantly reminds you that there are deer running out there."