Deer on the move! Breeding season causing increased deer activity in the region


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — You may be seeing more deer in your neighborhoods. Well, it’s not usual for this time of the year.

One of the main reasons is we are in the middle of the breeding season for the whitetail deer. So males are jumping around looking for female deer. However, that is not the only reason deer are on the move.

Ralph Meeker is the Deer Program Coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. He says on top of the breeding season we are getting into hunting season which is causing more movement in the woods.

Another factor is deer are searching for food and acorns which are a big part of their diet are falling from trees during this time.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says there are about a million deer across the state. Meeker says there has been a general growth in the number of deer in the region. He adds that increased development is also sending deers to areas outside of the wild.

“There’s a lack of predators in a lot of our urban environments. Fords and Chevys are the biggest predators, I think on deer in urban areas. So, we get a lot of complaints about deer-vehicle collisions,” said Meeker.

He adds that there is an increase in human and deer conflicts, especially in those urban areas. Meeker reminds folks that they are wild animals he adds to not feed, pet or get close to them.

Now the increased deer activity is creating a dangerous situation for drivers out on the road.

Fayetteville Animal control tells me they get calls every day about someone being involved in a deer-related car accident. We checked in mid-afternoon Tuesday and they already had eight accidents on record, and they tell us it’s not usual for this time of year.

That is why you must be careful behind the wheel.

“In the early morning and late evening, that their movement is increased, slow down especially in those areas you frequently see deer. If you see a deer cross the road there’s a good chance there will be others following that deer.”

Other things to keep in mind to reduce your risks of getting involved in a crash with a deer or other animals.

  • Pay attention to road signs that point out areas of high deer activity.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions when driving.
  • Use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic this will help you spot a deer.
  • Now if you come onto a deer resist the urge to swerve, so you don’t lose control of your vehicle or end up in the path of oncoming traffic.

Meeker says many times it isn’t a full collision and the deer ends up hitting the side of your vehicle.

If you do hit a deer, make sure to get your car to a safe area if possible. Call 911 and don’t forget to report the damages to your insurance company.

Also, stay away from the deer, you don’t want to scare it and have it hurt itself more or to hurt you.

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