Consider this a PSA for the wild deer that we rely on for our deer antler velvet supplement. Avoid hitting our furry friends this Spring!
It's officially that time of year. When you are driving down the highway you are likely to see at least one deer carcass on the side of the road. This is an unfortunate time for the deer population and drivers alike.
Have you ever noticed that there are more deer around the highway during this time of the year specifically? It turns out that there is actually a reason for this! The female deer (referred to as does) are actually leaving their herds to give birth in the month of May.
In addition to the does beginning their trek away from the herd, deer are also looking for fresh grass to eat during the spring months. Deer actually switch their diet with the seasons. This means that in the colder winter months they munch on dead grass and twigs but when the weather warms up in the spring and summer they enjoy eating green grass.
This all means that deer are more likely to be out and about (and closer to highways) during the springtime. The Department of Transportation reported 20,000 vehicle crashes involving deer statewide injuring 640 people and killing nine in one state alone.
So what should you do to avoid hitting a deer with your vehicle? The first tip is to always proceed with caution when you are driving. This means being alert to the road and the areas surrounding the road. If you are alert, you are likely to have a better response time if a deer or animal were to jump in front of your car than you would if you were distracted or not paying attention. It is especially important to be alert when driving after night since it is difficult to see deer lurking on the side of the highway.
If a deer does jump in front of your car, experts say that you should not swerve. This can actually put yourself (and other drivers) in more danger. If you try to swerve to avoid the deer you could hit another car or even roll your car. You should try to hit your brakes as soon as possible and the deer will usually continue to cross the road.
Something else that worries a lot of people is when they see a baby deer (referred to as a fawn) by itself along the road. Deer experts report that while this may seem concerning, the doe is actually gathering food for the fawn. This means that she is not always by the fawns side but checks in on it frequently.
Overall, there is a spike in deer appearances near highways and roadways in the spring season due to a variety of factors. To stay safe on the highway, always be alert while driving and remember never to swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Instead, you should try to use your brakes as soon as possible!