Suicidal deer, next two miles: Some in Iowa take issue with deer crossing warning

MITCHELL COUNTY, Iowa -- We see signs marking areas where deer frequently cross the road all the time, and we usually don't give them a second thought. A sign in Iowa has stirred up some controversy.

Those who have driven past the sign say it's hard not to take a second look. The unusual deer crossing warning has popped up on Highway 105 in Mitchell County, Iowa -- just outside of Saint Ansgar.

"I do think it's rather insensitive," Sally Hertel said.

Hertel lives near the sign. She said there is a need to warn drivers to be on the lookout for deer, but she believes the wording on the sign crosses a line.

"There's a lot of deer traffic. It's just part of living in north Iowa. But suicide? That makes it look like a joke. I myself have never had anyone close to me decide to take their life but I have a lot of friends who know people who have and I know it's a very sensitive subject and I think that's kind of a mockery," Hertel said.

The Mitchell County Board of Supervisors approved the sign.

"We happened to see one that was up in Illinois and thought it would be an effective way to remind people there are a lot of deer in the area," Stan Walk, Mitchell County supervisor said.

Walk said causing controversy wasn't the intention here.

"It was not meant that way and again we'll stand by it that it's an effective way to explain we have some issues here," Walk said.

Others feel there's a better way to remind motorists that a deer may jump into their path.

"I just came back from Austin and there's a sign with a deer jumping and it's white with and orange around it and it caught my attention," Hertel said.

Walk said more signs like this have been purchased, but it's clear if or when they'll be put up.