Like a lot of states, Texas has many wild critters that like to run across the roadways in front of passing automobile and truck traffic, including squirrels, skunks, turtles, possums, rabbits, and deer. Unlike a lot of states, however, Texas roadways are also sometimes visited by feral hogs and armadillos. As a motorist, dealing with wild animals darting across the road is always a problem, especially if it is something large like a deer or a hog. But, in many places in Texas, besides keeping a watchful eye for wild animals, the motorist needs to pay special attention to livestock on the road as well.
Texas is an open range state, which means that except along federal and main state highways, or where prohibited by local stock laws, livestock may roam at large. This results in livestock occasionally finding their way onto roadways where they endanger themselves as well as passing motorists.
Over the next several months, the roads of the hill country will be a little busier as folks head out to see the fields of Texas wildflowers. In addition to marveling at the colorful Bluebonnets, Indian Blankets, and other wildflowers, I, for one, will also be on the lookout for something else. While yellow and black, it is not a colorful flower, but a road sign with the words “Loose Livestock” on the front. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got enough challenges in my life without hitting a 2,000 pound Texas Longhorn while out driving around looking at pretty flowers.