Mo­torists Take Cau­tion: Deer Are on the Move

Cherokee County Herald - - SPORTS -

With more deer on the move this time of year, the Alabama Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Nat­u­ral Re­sources asks driv­ers to stay alert, es­pe­cially dur­ing hours around dusk and dawn. “As the breed­ing sea­son oc­curs dur­ing the win­ter months in Alabama, their ac­tiv­ity will in­crease dur­ing this time,” said Wildlife Chief Keith Gauldin. “When bucks are ac­tively pur­su­ing does in low light con­di­tions, they can quickly ap­pear out of nowhere.”

Gauldin said while a few may be soli­tary, most will travel in groups. “If you see one deer, there may be oth­ers fol­low­ing be­hind, so drive with cau­tion.”

The In­sur­ance In­for­ma­tion In­sti­tute of­fers th­ese tips to avoid hit­ting deer:

Be es­pe­cially at­ten­tive from sun­set to mid­night and dur­ing the hours shortly be­fore and af­ter sun­rise. Th­ese are the high­est risk times for deer-ve­hi­cle col­li­sions.

Drive with cau­tion when mov­ing through deer-cross­ing zones, in ar­eas known to have a large deer pop­u­la­tion and in ar­eas where roads di­vide agri­cul­tural fields from forest­land. Deer sel­dom run alone. If you see one deer, oth­ers may be nearby.

When driv­ing at night, use high beam headlights when there is no on­com­ing traf­fic. The high beams will bet­ter il­lu­mi­nate the eyes of deer on or near the road­way.

Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.’

Brake firmly when you no­tice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many se­ri­ous crashes oc­cur when driv­ers swerve to avoid a deer and hit an­other ve­hi­cle or lose con­trol of their cars.

Al­ways wear your seat belt. Most peo­ple in­jured in car/deer crashes were not wear­ing their seat belt.

Do not rely on devices such as deer whis­tles, deer fences and re­flec­tors to de­ter deer. Th­ese devices have not been proven to re­duce deer-ve­hi­cle col­li­sions.

The Alabama Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Nat­u­ral Re­sources pro­motes wise ste­ward­ship, man­age­ment and en­joy­ment of Alabama’s nat­u­ral re­sources through four divi­sions: Marine Re­sources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Fresh­wa­ter Fish­eries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.out­dooral­abama.com.

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