Missouri state troopers are warning drivers to be on the lookout for deer.

A sign alerts drivers about deer (image courtesy of Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop H in St. Joseph)

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz says there were more than 4,000 vehicle-deer collisions in Missouri in 2017. Hotz says the majority of those crashes happen in October and November.

“We start off with kind of with the harvest season and that kind of gets the deer stirred up and then we have hunting season begins, which gets them stirred up again and then in November we see mating season,” Hotz says.

Hotz also notes that deer often travel in groups, and says most deer strikes happen between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The Highway Patrol says seven people were killed and another 400 were injured in Missouri in 2017 in deer-vehicle collisions. Captain Hotz reminds drivers that trying to avoid striking a deer can cause a more serious crash involving oncoming traffic.

“Well the big thing that we’re trying to get people to be aware of is that when they see these animals, not to panic,” says Hotz.

Hotz says slamming on your brakes could cause your vehicle to be struck from behind by another vehicle.

Troopers say a deer-vehicle collision happened every 2.2 hours in Missouri in 2017. Hotz tells Missourinet natural features also impact deer movement.

“So we just ask that you be very aware particularly when you’re traveling areas that may be near woods or farmland or bodies of water,” Hotz says.

Hotz also emphasizes that rural areas are not the only regions that have vehicle-deer collisions.


Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz, which was recorded on October 3, 2018:

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