Motorists need to be on the look-out for deer at all times, but a state deer biologist says the time is drawing near when the deer begin to move and motorists need to be especially watchful.It isn’t quite that time of year says biologist Lonnie Hansen with the State Conservation Department, but the bucks have begun to move and rutting season will soon be upon us. That means motorists versus deer.
“Some deer-vehicle accidents simply aren’t avoidable. We have deer run into the sides of vehicles and they’re just simply not avoidable,” Hansen says, “but, I think some are avoidable.”
Hansen offers a few tips, the first being to be watchful of deer from now through November. The breeding season normally begins in late October and runs through much of November. Hansen, though, says he has already seen movement by bucks. Deer are more active at dawn and dusk, their preferred feeding times. They often follow creeks, so Hansen says to be on the lookout when the road crosses a creek bottom. If you see one deer, there are likely others nearby.
“I think this time of year, people need to be very aware and watch, not just straight down the road, but the sides of the road, looking for deer standing and preparing to cross the roads,” Hansen says, “especially during the early morning and evening hours when deer are most active.”
Flashing lights and honking horns often scare deer back into the woods.
A piece of advice Hansen says he gives even though he understands how difficult it is to follow: if it is inevitable that you are going to run into a deer, hit it squarely. Hansen says when drivers swerve to avoid a deer, it often puts in motion the making of a much worse accident, either the driver loses control of his vehicle or runs into another car.