Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Deer fencing is pictured along U.S. 89 east of Kanab where culprits cut six holes, leading to 15 dead deer on the highway and at least six vehicle-deer collisions.

KANAB — Six holes were cut in a $2.5 million deer fencing and underpass project east of Kanab on U.S. 89, leading to 15 deer on the roadway and six deer-vehicle collisions.

The area had been a dangerous spot for deer crossings and motorists prior to the completion of the project. With the fence in place, 2017 marked the first year with zero deer collisions on that section of the highway.

Lt. Paul Washburn with the Utah Division of Wildlife Services said the fence's damage has since been repaired by state transportation workers.

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The holes were noticed in May and could have been the result of people out gathering shed antlers.

"Whatever the reason, this selfish act damaged expensive infrastructure, hurt the deer population for which the infrastructure was created and could have been the direct cause of an accident resulting in injury or death," the division said in a prepared statement.

Washburn said one of the holes was large enough to accommodate an off-road vehicle.

Residents with any information are being asked to contact Washburn at 435-979-5920, or the Kane County Sheriff's office at 435-644-2349.