Love is in the air… for deer. The white tail deer population is preparing for a boost this spring, and drivers have to keep a careful eye out, especially in rural areas.
The deer rut happens every year, at about the same time. State Deer Program Specialist for the DNR, Jeff Pritzl says, it’s Mother Nature’s way of ensuring a good number of fawns next spring.
“By having all the fawns born at about the same time, they overwhelm the predators that may want to eat the fawns. So that ensures a lot of them survive,” explains Pritzl.
This time of year, the deer population gets very active. They’re out foraging for food, and the bucks are out looking for love.
Pritzl says, “The bucks have one thing on their mind, in late October / early November, so they’re less cautious. Which means, they’re also less cautious about running out in front of us on the highway.”
They’re not the smartest animals in the world, and sprinkle in a bit of libido, and all thoughts of self-preservation go out the window.
He suggests drivers become much more vigilant not just in the morning and early evenings, but all day.
You’ll also want to be watching the shoulders of the road in a defensive driving strategy and be ready to slow down without losing control of your vehicle.
Also keep in mind, that if you see one doe, chances are, there’s a buck or two chasing right behind her.
So… head on a swivel, make sure you can slow down quickly and safely if you do see some deer, and if you do have to hit them, try to stay in control of your car.