DEEP: Drivers watch for deer, moose
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reminding motorists to be watchful of increased deer and moose activity along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours.
Motorists should be aware and heed “deer crossing” signs along state highways, DEEP’s Wildlife Division said in a release. Drivers are also advised to slow down and drive defensively should a deer or moose be spotted on or by the road.
Further, fall is the peak of the breeding season for Connecticut’s moose population in the northern part of the state. The breeding season for whitetailed deer runs from late October through late December, according to the release.
Since moose are darker in color and stand much higher than deer, observing reflective eye-shine from headlights is infrequent and, when struck, moose often end up impacting the windshield of vehicles. All moose and deer vehicle collisions should be reported to local, state or DEEP Environmental Conservation police officers , officials said.
“During 2016, approximately 3,700 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles,” said Rick Jacobson, director of the DEEP Wildlife Division, in the release. “Over 40 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2016, with an average of two per year since 2002. Two moose-vehicle accidents have already occurred this past September. It is believed that one of the moose traveled from Stafford to Essex over a fiveday period before being struck by a motorist.”
While most of Connecticut is not considered an ideal habitat for moose, the animals venturing into southern Connecticut pose an increased potential for human fatalities from accidents as compared to deer-vehicle accidents due to high population density, road networks and traffic volumes, wildlife officials said. Residents throughout the state are encouraged to report moose sightings on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife.