Oh Deer! Watch Out! Deer Crossing!

   It is that time of year – Deer Season!
   Instead of thinking about bagging that big, 10-point buck, you should be worried about it bagging you. More collisions between deer and automobiles occur in November than any other month, according to State Farm Insurance.
   Officials with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) are reminding, and cautioning drivers that deer movement is greatest in November-December, and collisions with deer on roadways are most common.
   As fall days grow shorter, and temperatures get cooler, Kentucky’s deer population starts to transition into its breeding season. The peak of breeding activity is usually in mid-November; however, it can begin in October and continue into January.
   During this time, adult doe deer will cycle into heat each month until she is able to breed with a buck. Bucks will become very active, especially after dark, in traveling and actively searching for does that are ready to mate.
   This behavior, along with an increase in human presence in the fall woods during hunting season, ups the chances that deer will cross roadways more often than at other times of the year.
   Motorists should take special care when driving at night, or in areas where woodlands and grown-up fields are located close to the road.
   Deer often prefer to remain hidden as long as possible before having to cross an open area. At times though, whitetails can just as easily travel along fence rows and tree-lined corridors through open fields for long distances.
     The best defense if you do see “a deer in your headlights,” is to slow to a stop if possible and safe to do so.
   Traveling speed should be reduced in deer crossing zones as noted by highway signs, and in spots where there is less distance between what looks like potential deer cover from one side of the road to the other.
   Bright lights tend to confuse and freeze deer in their tracks. When they do move, they may go any direction.
   When traveling through “deer country,” slow down a little and give yourself more reaction time should you need to stop or let the animal get out of the way.
     Be ready to react.

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