Ask someone here in Maine who has deer whistles on their car about how they work, and chances are that person will say, "Ain't hit no deer!"  But, do they really work?

Recently, we gave you some driving tips about how to avoid a collision with a deer during this time of the year, when accidents with the animals are most likely to happen.  One thing that was brought up were deer whistles.

You'll find deer warning whistles are just about any store, like Wal-Mart, for about $5.99.  They stick on the front bumper of a car or truck, and emit a high-pitch whine that only animals like deer can hear, supposedly sending the animals scurrying back into the woods and away from the highway.

But opinions differ significantly between the manufacturers of deer whistles and wildlife officials.  For instance, here's what it says at DeerWhistle.com:  "When mounted to a vehicle, car, truck, or motorcycle moving at 35 mph or faster, the deer whistle makes a sound that alerts deer, moose, elk, antelope, and kangaroos of the approaching vehicle and assists with accident prevention. Animals are very unpredictable, but they will usually respond by freezing along the side of the road avoiding vehicle collision."

Meanwhile, here's what it says at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's site:  "Although deer can hear sounds that human cannot, the usefulness of special whistles – small devices mounted on your vehicle that emit a shrill sound to scar away deer – has not been scientifically proven."

While noising around the web we came upon CarTalk.com, where the author of the article said that deer have sensitive hearing and when a car is coming down the road they know it.  But, the article also states: "deer in much of the U.S. have grown from fawn to adulthood with tire song as the soundtrack of their entire lives. They simply don’t perceive the vehicle as a threat once they habituate to the sound and movement."   The article also went on to say that "results from a University of Georgia team said that auditory deterrents do not appear to be appropriate for prevention of deer-vehicle collisions."

Seeing as how were not covered in fur and walk on two legs and not four, we'll probably never definitely know if deer warning whistles truly work.  But, if spending the $5.99 gives you peace of mind, then go for it!