ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says it's about to be peak deer activity season, and they're warning about the risk of car collisions with the animals.
The state has some tips about when to be alert and what to know about deer behavior that can help.
The DNR's deer biologist, Charlie Killmaster, said that drivers need to "be alert and pay close attention to roadsides as we are nearing the annual peak time of year for deer movement."
"Keep in mind that deer often travel in groups, so if a deer crosses the road ahead of you there is a good chance that another will follow. In many cases, that second deer is the one hit as the driver assumes the danger has passed and fails to slow down," he said.
Mating season happens between October and late December, DNR said, resulting in the movement that often brings them into closer contact with homes and roads.
And during this time, they tend to be more active around dawn and dusk, when there are more drivers on the road for rush hour and when it can be harder to see.
DNR is offering this guidance:
- Deer are unpredictable: "Always remember deer are wild and, therefore, can be unpredictable. A deer calmly standing on the side of a road may bolt into or across the road rather than away from it when startled by a vehicle."
- One deer usually means more: "Always take caution and slow down when a deer crosses the road in front of you. Deer usually travel in groups, so it is likely that others will follow."
- Time of day: "As deer are most active at dawn and dusk, they are typically seen along roads during the early morning and late evening – the same times most people are commuting to and from work."
- Minimize damage: "If it is too late to avoid a collision, drivers are advised to slow down as much as possible to minimize damage – resist the urge to swerve to avoid the deer, as this may cause further damage, sending drivers off the road or causing a collision with another vehicle."