It seems the elk in Cheboygan County like to move around. Unfortunately, their terrain includes a stretch of I-75 that has seen more than its share of elk-related vehicle crashes. Last September, the Michigan Department of Transportation worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to install “elk crossing” signs along the highway and similar posters in rest areas, alerting motorists to the potential danger of colliding with a roaming elk. Now they’ve decided to leave those warning signs in place.
“While the majority of the elk-vehicle crashes occur along the stretch of I-75 between October and January, we want to continue raising awareness,” said MDOT’s operations engineer Jay Gailitis. “There is a concentration of elk just north of Gaylord that could cross at any time, so it is a good idea to keep the posters up.”
A single elk can weigh from 250 to 1,000 pounds and stand as tall as five feet at the shoulder—this is not an animal you want to encounter at 70 mph. Take care and keep a watch out. You may just get lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of these majestic creatures munching berries just around sunrise or sunset.—Deborah Wyatt Fellows