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Deer season is great for hunters, bad for drivers

Deer season is great for hunters, bad for drivers

By Jacob Weston. CREATED Oct 14, 2013

Kansas drivers should be on alert for more deer along roadways, especially during the dawn and dusk hours.

The Kansas Highway Patrol, Wildlife Parks and Tourism and the Department of Transportation are raising awareness, hoping to save drivers the headache of hitting a deer this fall.

Deer mating season will peak sometime in mid-November, meaning drivers will see more and more deer as they become more active. The animals are also active during the times when commuter traffic is highest, leading to higher accident rates during dawn and dusk.

In 2012, 15 percent of all wrecks in Kansas involved deer, leading to two fatalities. The following tips are offered to help reduce those numbers for 2013:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are particularly 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 sources such as streams or ponds.
  • Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer – the most serious accidents sometimes occur when motorists swerve and collide with another vehicle or run off the road and hit an obstacle.
  • Heed deer crossing signs.
  • Always wear a seat belt and use appropriate child safety seats. 
  • Use bright lights and slow down whenever the reflective eyes of deer are spotted. 

Drivers who hit a deer, causing property damage greater than $1,000 are required to report the crash, or face misdemeanor charges and possible license suspension. 

Salvage tags to save meat from a hit deer can be issued by KHP troopers, sheriff's deputies and Wildlife and Parks officers.