Fall means cool weather and colorful foliage. It can also mean unpredictable wildlife. Deer mating season is right around the corner, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources urges motorists to stay alert for deer and other wildlife as these animals seek food supplies and mates before winter.
“Deer greatly increase their movements during the breeding season from mid-October through November as they search for mates,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Motorists should be especially cautious from dusk to dawn when deer are most active and likely to be encountered on the road.”
Motorists are reminded to:Our neighborhood is chock full of deer, and driving at night, they always represent a threat, but at this time of year, the deer start to get stupider as the rut approaches, the fawns get bigger and more active, and motorists spend more time driving in the dark, which increases the threat.
- Be particularly attentive in the early morning and evening periods.
- Gradually brake to avoid hitting a deer; do not swerve as this may cause you to lose control of a vehicle.
- Slow down if a deer crosses the road ahead. Deer often travel in groups and others may be nearby.
- Stay alert and slow down in areas where deer crossing signs are posted. These indicate locations of frequent deer activity.
- Watch the shoulder. Be alert for deer standing along the shoulder as they may suddenly move into the roadway. Slow down and sound your horn to scare them away.
However, it is possible to hit them in the daytime too. I once hit one that sprinted out of the woods into my Subaru Outbacks path at 1 PM. It totaled the deer and did a couple thousand dollars worth of damage to the car (covered by insurance).
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