Fall Deer Information
As fall approaches and School is back in session means more traffic on the roadways and more students driving to and from school and School sporting events.
Fall also signifies hunting season for various interests, especially Deer.
There were 185 deaths from collisions with animals in 2019. According to State Farm, U.S. drivers had 2.1 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 2020 and June 2021, up 7.2 percent from the same period a year ago.
Deer can be spotted near roadways anytime of the year, but motorists should be especially vigilant in the fall. Deer breeding season (rut) peaks in mid-November, and this marks the period when deer-vehicle collisions are most frequent. Spring also brings an increased number of deer-vehicle collisions.
During rut, deer focus on mating; they travel more than in any other season and pay less attention to hazards, such as vehicles. Many move to new locations, as crops are harvested, and leaves fall from trees and shrubs, making the deer less secure than in their summer habitats.
Shorter fall days mean that dusk and dawn occur when commuter traffic is heaviest, and at the same time, deer are more likely to be on the move. Deer-vehicle crashes occur in all Kansas counties, but in most cases, counties with high human populations and high traffic volumes record the most crashes.
Tips to avoid deer collisions:
* Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are most active.
* Watch for more than one deer, as they seldom travel alone.
* Reduce speed and be alert near wooded areas or green spaces such as parks or golf courses, and near water such as streams or ponds.
* Deer crossing signs indicate where high levels of deer/vehicle crashes have occurred in the past.
* Use your bright lights to help you detect deer as far ahead as possible.
* Don't swerve to avoid hitting a deer - the most serious crashes sometime occur when drivers swerve and collide with another vehicle, or run off the road and hit an obstacle.
Always, wear a seat belt and use child safety seats for the kids. Even if you are waiting in your car, it is best to wear your seat belt, and have your children in car seats.
A salvage tag is required to remove a deer carcass or any part of the carcass from a crash site. Tags can be issued by Kansas Highway Patrol, Sheriff's Deputies, Kansas Wildlife and Parks Game Wardens and your local Police Departments.
I ask everyone behind the wheel to keep this in mind as it only takes a second of not paying attention for disaster to strike.
Sheriff Jeff Herrig