It is the second week in November, and it is getting colder. The deer and other wildlife are really starting to be more active at dusk and later. There are countless deer carcasses scattering the roads everywhere. Yet people are still driving the roads as though it is the middle of the afternoon. It gets darker earlier and there is reduced visibility of the peripheral areas of the road and unless deer are looking toward your car, you won’t see the reflection of their eyes. Deer are more likely to bound out into the road suddenly during the Fall rut – they are in a more excited state. For drivers that don’t slow down accordingly to accommodate the chance of a collision with a deer the odds are great that you will hit a deer, wound it, kill it and damage your vehicle as well. Locally, there has already been an early morning fatality this year of a young man speeding through a known deer crossing area. Roads that have trees close to the road on either side are especially risky to travel at a normal rate of speed. Slow down!
Traveling from my home to Rochester, the number of raccoons, opossums, skunks and deer that are slaughtered in the roads is staggering . People seem to be oblivious to the presence of wildlife and they aren’t watching for reflective eyes on the sides of the road, or other signs, such as movement up ahead. A lot of people mistakenly assume that an animal is smart enough to avoid their vehicle. Another mistake people make is not counting on another member of the species to be following in the one that just ran safely across the road. Deer and raccoons often travel in groups. In the summer, youngsters often travel with their litter mates and mothers. A good rule of thumb is, if you see one, there are probably more, so slow down and look!
Remember, most wildlife is most active between dusk and dawn- slow down, travel with caution.