It’s deer season all right, but not just for hunters.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is warning motorists to be on the watch for deer darting across roads, putting the animals at risk of getting hit.
“An increase in deer-related crashes is likely during the months of October through December due to deer mating and hunting season,” the THP stated in a press release.
State statistics show November is the month with the highest number of deerrelated crashes. The five-year average for November is 1,244 crashes involving deer, according to the Department of Safety.
Last year in Tennessee there were a total of 26,915 deer-related crashes.
“Deer pose a danger to motorists throughout the year, but especially in the fall,” THP Col. Tracy Trott said in the news release. “November is typically the worst month for deer-related crashes. It is important to exercise caution, slow down and stay alert in areas where deer are populated.”
In November 2011 there were 1,317 deer crashes, more than double the 589 that occurred in October 2011.
The Department of Safety and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have a few suggestions to help prevent deer-related crashes during peak mating and hunting seasons:
• Remember mating season puts deer on the move, and deer tend to be more active at dawn and dusk.
• When you see one deer cross the road, expect more. Many times the second or third deer to cross is the one motorists hit.
• Do not swerve to avoid hitting a deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or hit an oncoming vehicle. Swerving can also confuse the deer on where to run.
• If you hit a deer, never approach an injured animal. Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor. Call *847 from a cell phone for assistance.
Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used for food as long as you contact the nearest TWRA regional office within 48 hours to report the accident.
For more information, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlifeâ€‰ . org.
Deer-related crash information is available at www.tn.gov/ â€‰ safety.