Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Fall is a time of movement and migration for many of Minnesota's wildlife species. White-tailed deer, which maintain an annual home range of about one square mile, increase their daily movements and become more active during this time of year.
The shortening days of fall also trigger a whitetail's reproductive cycle with the peak of breeding coming during the first two weeks of November. As bucks begin to search for receptive females, they may separate the male fawn of the year from its mother. Yearling bucks, participating in their first breeding season, may move many miles from their home range.
"All of this natural white-tailed deer movement increases the number of deer crossing highways," said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director. "This, in turn, increases the chances for motorists to strike deer."
The DNR encourages motorists to increase their awareness of deer during the fall breeding season and offers these tips to decrease the odds of striking a deer:
¥ Be observant because a deer standing calmly in a field may suddenly jump into the road; anticipate the potential for this rapid change.
¥ When observing a deer crossing the road ahead, slow down, and scan for more deer. Many times additional deer are out of view.
¥ Slow down to avoid hitting a deer, but do not swerve because that can cause a person to lose control and strike another vehicle, leave the highway and strike a tree or other object.
¥ Be especially aware during the morning and afternoon when deer tend to be more active, moving between evening feeding areas and daytime bedding sites.
¥ Elevate deer awareness at locations with deer crossing signs, which indicate locations of frequent deer crossings.
Enjoy the annual natural changes of Minnesota's fall season and heighten the awareness of deer while traveling across the state's varied landscapes.