News: UConn Study Questions Effectiveness of Deer Whistles
- UConn Study Questions Effectiveness Of Deer Whistles
November 20, 2002
By KATHRYN MASTERSON, Associated Press
STORRS, CT -- Deer can't hear the deer whistles placed on car bumpers to
scare them away, according to a new study by the University of Connecticut.
Peter Scheifele, an animal bioacoustics and audiology researcher, studied
the plastic devices and found that the frequencies they produce are not
within the hearing range of deer.
The whistles are marketed as safety devices that make deer stand still, and
prevent them from running into the road and getting hit by cars.
Deer cause thousands of car accidents. Last month, a Torrington man died
when a deer crashed through his windshield on Route 6 in Farmington.
Scheifele, who works in the university's Department of Animal Science,
tested six whistles by attaching them to a car and driving between 30 and 40
mph. He said the whistles typically make a signal at frequencies of 3
kilohertz or 12 kilohertz.
Scheifele said the 12 kilohertz sound fell outside a white-tailed deer's
hearing range, which is between 2 and 6 kilohertz.
The lower sound is buried by the noise from the car, he said.
"All in all, the air whistles do not make sense to me acoustically,"
Mike Livingston, of Living Products in Arvada, Colo., disputed the finding.
His company makes deer whistles.
"I've had them on many vehicles and witnessed deer cocking their heads and
looking at the vehicle," Livingston said.
Livingston said he believes in the product. His company had the whistles
tested by an independent company in 1987, and they were found to be 92
percent effective at stopping deer, he said.
The whistles at one time were standard issue on Connecticut state police
cruisers, and some troopers in parts of the state with large deer herds
still put them on their vehicles, state police spokesman Sgt. J. Paul Vance
Karen Dimitri, who owns a hunting and outdoor store in Lebanon, said she had
deer whistles installed on her car more than 20 years ago.
"I swore by them," Dimitri said Tuesday. "I never had a problem with one
even coming near me."
She's changed vehicles over the years and currently is not using the
whistles. But she said she was thinking about putting them back on.
"It can't hurt to put them on your car, whether they work or it's just
coincidence," she said.
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"Live in peace with the animals. Animals bring love to our hearts, and warmth to our souls."
"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." Immanuel Kant
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