YARMOUTH, N.S. - If you’re travelling through Cape Forchu in the wee hours of a foggy morning, you’d best be sporting a protective grill on the front of your vehicle.
Just ask Paul Brittain. The Yarmouth County resident hit five deer in the past year while delivering papers in his ’03 Toyota Corolla.
The car, which has more than 500,000 km on it, has fenders so crumpled and dented from hitting deer, the ride could now be referred to as the battered buckmobile.
Brittain says he’s talking to the deer with his windows down as he drives the route at 3 and 4 a.m.
“Get out of the road you stupid deer!”
He suspects the metal bridge on the isthmus between the mainland and Cape Forchu confines the growing population.
“I don’t know if they have something against going across that bridge, but once you get across the causeway it’s loaded with deer.”
The last one he hit was a big one, he says, on a dark, rainy, foggy morning. It rolled over the hood of the car and down into the ditch. He says he calls and reports collisions to the Natural Resources department.
“I’m lucky I haven’t gone off the road, especially in the wintertime,” he said.
The last couple of weeks it’s been really bad because of the fog there, he says, and he has to drive a lot slower.
He’s seen two spotted fawns and an old doe amongst the rose hips along False Harbour by the breakwater.
On another morning he saw a big buck standing on a bank when he came out of the Lobster Pound Road.
“He was in silhouette and he was some proud of his rack of horns,” said Brittain.
The property around an old fish shed on the north side of the road in False Harbour is a congregating site for them, he says.
In other parts of Yarmouth County he sees other animals, in addition to deer.
There was a coyote, freshly killed, on the Ross Durkee Road recently, racoons “all over the place” and porcupines.
“Do you know how many skunks are around here?” said Brittain in exasperation.
Loren Cushing, Municipality of Yarmouth councillor for the Cape Forchu district, says he hasn’t received any complaints about deer hitting vehicles until now.
He says he is looking into the possibility of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal placing signs warning drivers to watch for deer in the area.