Local Deer-Related Car Crashes Rise As Mating Season Wears On

Nov 24, 2015

AAA in southwestern Pennsylvania says November and December are the months when deer-related car crashes peak in our region.
Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Autumn brings about changing leaves, crisp-cool weather and a trend much more vexing: deer-related car crashes.

November is peak mating season for deer, Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Jeannine Fleegle said.

“Bucks are on the move a lot more, because they’re looking for a date,” she said. “And there’s not much else they see. They’re not paying attention to roads – not that deer are very good at crossing roads anyway – but with these increased movements, the probability of them getting hit of course goes up.”    

According to AAA, the months of November and December are when most deer-related car crashes occur in Pennsylvania. That coincides with one of two peak deer seasons – mating in Fall and fawning in Spring.

The state game commission office in Allegheny County recorded removals of 300 deer carcasses from local roadsides last month. So far in November, 263 have been removed.  

“A lot of times ... if you hit one, it will actually run away," Fleegle said. "The adrenaline is there and they take off. If you do hit a deer and it doesn’t take off, call the authorities.”

Fleegle advised driving slower, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are out and they're more difficult to see. AAA offers an additional tip: don’t swerve. Experts say drivers should be mindful of other deer once the first is spotted and always wear a seatbelt.