The Outdoor Journal by Kyle Carroll
The bullet points below are from State Farm Insurance. The italicized remarks are my addition to the recommendations.
· Slow down. This a hard concept for some people. Watch for deer especially around dawn and between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., when they're most active. Starting about Halloween, you need to be just as alert in the early morning hours as well.
· Be aware. Look out for deer-crossing signs and wooded areas where animals are likely to travel. If you travel the same route to and from work every day, you may find deer consistently grazing in the same fields. Make a mental note of when and where you regularly see the animals. Rural folks are pretty good about this but it's easy to let the rut sneak up on you if you’re not a deer hunter. Just remember, when the time changes it’s time to pay attention.
· Be alert. If you see an animal on the side of the road, slow down. At night when traffic permits, put on your high beams for improved visibility.
· Brake, don’t swerve. Swerving to avoid an animal can put you at risk for hitting another vehicle or losing control of your car. It can also confuse the animal as to which way to go. Instead, just slow down as quickly and safely as you can. Your odds for surviving an accident are better when hitting an animal than hitting another car.
· Assume they have friends. The “where there’s one, there’s usually more” often holds true. Deer travel in groups, so if you see one run across. Bucks chasing does during the November rut will chase a doe across a busy highway. I've worked crashes where the buck actually ran into the car and not the other way around.
Pay attention to the weather. If a cold front rolls through during the first part of November, deer are going to move. The time change is another key factor since it puts you on the road at the time when deer are the most active. By Thanksgiving, the worst is over, but you should continue to watch those shoulders for movement on into November.