HARRISBURG, PA. (WTAJ) — With deer becoming more active and daylight-saving time increasing the number of drivers on the road when deer move, The Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking drivers to slow down and stay alert.
According to the commission, deer are active in autumn leading up to their breeding season. They say many yearling bucks travel dozens of miles to find new ranges while adults bucks typically stay in their home area to find does.
They say the peak time for deer activity is between dawn and dusk and with more drivers on the roads during those times, the potential for accidents increases.
“While the peak of the rut still is a few weeks off, deer already have increased their activity and are crossing roads,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “While motorists – at any time of year – are well advised to stay alert and be on the lookout for whitetails while driving, it’s especially important now and in the coming weeks.”
A recent report from the commission shows Pennsylvania drivers are near the top of the list for potential collisions with deer or other large animals. Pennsylvania ranks third among all states and drivers have a 1-in-51 chance of an accident with a big game animal according to their report.
They do provide some tips for avoiding those accidents including understanding deer behavior and staying alert, especially while driving through stretches of road marked with “Deer Crossing,” signs.
The commission says deer often travel in groups and walk single file, so even if one deer crosses the road without accident, drivers should be cautious for more to follow behind it.
Drivers who hit a deer are not required to report the accident. If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass and they can do so by calling the commission’s regional office. Residents must call within 24-hours of taking possession of the deer.
If a deer is struck by a vehicle, the commission urges drivers to keep their distance in case the deer recovers and moves on.
To report a dead deer removal from state roads, drivers can call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.