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Elk warning signs on Hwy. 238 are no mistake

Between Applegate and Provolt on Highway 238 near the 15 milepost, there are highway signs indicating bull elk warnings on both sides of the road. I've lived in Applegate for 40 years and have yet to see an elk crossing the road. Did the highway staff make a mistake? Did they run out of buck deer signs? I'd love to know.

— Joan

Not, it's not a mistake, Joan. Oregon Department of Transportation officials tell us the elk are there, just not as prominent as they were 20-some years ago.

ODOT erected the signs in the '90s when there was a bigger herd in the area, according to ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming. That was at the request of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, he said.

There are still some of the animals scattered throughout the Applegate, including near the Williams area, and in the Siskiyous up to the California border.

"We have some really kind of spread out all over the valley," said Dan Ethridge, ODFW assistant wildlife biologist.

But we guess they just haven't crossed your eyeline quite yet. We're not sure why that is, Joan. The experts tell us they're there.

"I guess the bottom line is that people are doing a good job keeping an eye out for them, or the few elk out there are wise enough that they aren't crossing," Leaming said.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.