Motorists reminded to be cautious as peak months for deer activity approach
COLUMBIA - Mid-October through January are peak months for deer in Missouri. The annual mating season increases the number of deer on roads.
Robert Hemmerlgarn, Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said deer are most active during this period.
"It's their mating season which means they are more active and more likely to end up on the roadway and less aware of their surroundings," Hemmerlgarn said.
Hemmerlgarn said deer do very unpredictable things like stopping in the middle of the road when crossing and travelling together.
"One thing to be aware of is deer seldom travel alone, so if you see one it's a good idea to slow down and keep a look out for more," Hemmerlgarn said.
Deer also travel more at certain times of the day.
"The prime time when you're most likely to see Deer on the road up and active is about sunset to midnight and then again before and around sunrise," Hemmerlgarn said. "It's always a good thing to keep an eye out for wildlife."
The Missouri Department of Transportation in a press release said there were 4,111 crashes involving deer in Missouri in 2017. The department lists the following safety tips for avoiding collisions with Deer:
- Always wear seat belt
- Control your speed, stay alert and avoid distracted driving
- Don't swerve to avoid hitting deer. This can cause motorists to lose control and travel off the road or into incoming traffic
- Deer rarely travel alone. Slow down and keep an eye out for more than one
- Don't follow too closely as the driver in front might have to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer
Motorists are encouraged to report all deer incidents to MoDOT, 888-275-6636.