Avoiding deer-vehicle collisions

Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 9:02 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - In this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors, Mike Anderson gives us tips on how to avoid deer-vehicle collisions during this time year.

Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways this time of year, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are most active.

“We can have deer-vehicle collisions throughout the year, but the majority of our deer-vehicle collisions are going to be in the fall months, October, November. And that’s typically when we have our peak deer movement in the state,” said HDGF education coordinator Marty Egeland.

There are several reasons you will see more deer moving across the landscape at this time of year .

“The breeding season is starting. And of course, bucks are constantly in search of does. The other thing is, oftentimes deer will have different summering areas from wintering areas, and they’re dispersing. When our upland bird seasons open up there’s just people walking in just about every bit of cover, almost on a daily basis, and that disperses deer along with just farming activities throughout the state, people enjoying the fall,” said Egeland.

Egeland has a few tips if you happen to see a deer on the road or in the ditch.

“Number one, you probably want to slow down a little bit at night. If you see a deer slow down, hit the brakes, and still maintain control of the car. Do not swerve,” said Egeland.

Oftentimes when you see one deer be on the lookout for other deer in the ditch.

“Particularly if there’s a buck chasing a doe, or the doe still has fawns with them,” said Egeland.

There are known areas where deer cross the road, and some are in high-risk areas marked with deer crossing signs.

“Any time you have areas where there’s habitat adjacent to food, deer certainly can be crossing. River corridors are natural travel corridors,” said Egeland.

A permit is required before taking possession of a road-killed deer. Permits are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement.

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