Game Commission tells motorists to watch out for deer

Harrisburg — The Pennsylvania Game Commission today advised
motorists to slow down after sundown and before sunrise to reduce
their risk of having a close encounter with a white-tailed
deer.

Deer collisions are an annual occurrence that will continue
through Thanksgiving week and begin to slow down in mid-December.
For the sake of public safety, the commission is urging motorists
to drive cautiously after dark for the next several months.

“The personal tragedies and property losses that are caused by
deer-vehicle collisions touch the lives of Pennsylvanians
statewide,” said agency Executive Director Carl Roe . “It’s an
unfortunate and often painful consequence of living with
white-tailed deer.

“It’s also a shame to see whitetails killed on highways in the
weeks before our biggest deer seasons. Obviously, many of these
accidents are unavoidable because deer do step into the path of
fast-moving vehicles. But driving defensively, or, at the very
least, alertly, can give a motorist an edge in many instances.”

Roe noted that being knowledgeable about deer can help
Pennsylvanians stay out of harm’s way. He said that some deer
aren’t paying close attention to what’s going on around them during
the fall breeding season, commonly referred to as the “rut.”

“During the rut, deer are moving about more than usual,” Roe
said. “It’s a time when deer become preoccupied with finding the
opposite sex or staying a few steps ahead of rival suitors. It’s a
time when this summer’s fawns – left alone while does follow
nature’s calling – sometimes naively wander into troublesome
predicaments.

“It’s a time, quite frankly, when deer don’t seem to maintain
the distance that typically keeps them from dangerously interacting
with Pennsylvania motorists.”

Roe also noted that drivers shouldn’t assume trouble has passed
completely when a deer successfully crosses the road.

“Deer frequently travel in family groups and single file,” Roe
said. “Just because one has crossed, doesn’t mean the threat is
over. Its crossing could be a signal that others may follow, which
they sometimes do blindly.”

Some bucks are beginning to chase does. Sometimes these bucks
follow closely; other times they pursue with their heads to the
ground nosing a scent trail. Also, research conducted by the Game
Commission and Penn State University indicates many yearling bucks
will be traveling more during the fall.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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