It’s that time of year again, Hunting Season!  People all over our beautiful state have their blinds set up, deer feed out, scent block on and weapons loaded to get a shot at that big buck.  With the days getting so much shorter, many of us are driving to and from work in the dimly lit hours of the morning or evening.  This is prime time for the deer to be on the move.  All the hunters in the woods or fields means that it’s got the deer moving into the streets and roads.  It is more important than ever to make sure you are completely aware of your surroundings.

Here are just a few tips to make driving in these last months of the year as deer/vehicle accident free as possible:

·         Don’t Just Rely on “Deer Whistles.” Research has found that in hundreds of trials, the high frequency whistles did not change deer behavior or responses.

·         Be Aware.  This is the best defense against deer/vehicle collisions.  You need to keep your eyes on the ditches and wooded areas as this is where deer are most likely to bound from.

·         Use Your High Beams. When traveling at night, use your high beams whenever possible as they give you the greatest amount of visibility.

·         Slow Down Early.  If you think you see a deer ahead, slow down in advance and don’t be surprised if you need to completely stop.  The bright lights may confuse the deer and cause them to react quickly by darting in any direction.

·         Use Your Horn.  Deer are keenly adept at pinpointing sound due to the shape of their ears and their ability to pivot each ear individually.  When you see a deer, it may help to blow your horn repeatedly to help them pinpoint where you, the danger, is.

·         Deer Don’t Usually Travel Alone.  Where you see one deer, you are likely to see more following.  Be cautious if you see one deer cross the road as there are probably others close by.

·         Don’t Swerve.  No matter how careful you are, sometimes you cannot avoid the deer in the middle of the road.  Whatever you do, do not swerve!  There is a good chance you could swerve into oncoming traffic or off the road into a tree.  If you have remained vigilante with your speed, hopefully the damage to your vehicle from a direct impact with a deer will be minimal.

We hope these tips will help make driving during hunting season a little safer for everyone.  Now go get that big buck!