It’s breeding time for deer, and that means an increased likelihood of car crashes. Mating time means more deer on the move -- crossing roads and highways.
Andrew Labonte, a wildlife biologist with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said November and December are peak time for roadkills.
“They’re just pursuing the female -- and they go wherever she goes,” Labonte said.
Connecticut recorded about 4,000 deer-vehicle collisions last year. Labonte said that was a significant decrease from 2000, which followed easing restrictions on deer hunting. For example, Connecticut now allows bowhunting on Sundays.
“We’ve been adding a lot of these tools to the toolbox that allow us to manage these populations that had been out of control,” Labonte explained.
If you encounter a deer while driving, Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management says use the brake to minimize impact. That’s better than swerving, which can cause a more serious accident.
Environmental officials also urge drivers to slow down at nighttime in areas where deer are common.