Sign warning of ‘suicidal deer’ causing controversy

MITCHELL COUNTY, IA (KIMT) – Street signs are designed to alert drivers of what lies ahead, but a new deer crossing sign in Mitchell County has some believing it crosses a line.

The sign reads “Suicidal Deer, 2 Miles.” It is located just outside of St. Ansgar on Highway 105, just off Sally Hertel’s property.

“I think it is a little insensitive,” Hertel said.

She says there has always been a sign near her yard and she sees a clear need.

“Anywhere between Carpenter and here, which is about 7 miles, there’s a lot of deer,” says Hertel. “It is just part of living in north Iowa.”

Though Hertel is used to looking out her window and seeing a sign, she says this one has some issues.

“Suicide? That makes it look like a joke, and myself, I have never had anybody close to me decide to take their own life, but I’ve had a lot of friends and other people who have and I know it is a sensitive subject,” she added.

“We saw a sign like this one in Illinois, and thought it would be an effective way to warn people of deer. We did not intend for it to be hurtful, but we will stand by the idea that it is an effective warning method,”  says Stan Walk, a Mitchell County supervisor

Hertel believes there is a better way to solve this issue.

“I was driving back from Austin, and there was a sign that was white and orange, it had a deer jumping, it caught my attention,” says Hertel.

Walk says the county bought more signs but have no set date on when they will be put up.

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