Monday, October 17th, 2016
Most Likely to Encounter Mating Deer Racing Across Roads at Dusk and Dawn
State wildlife officials are reminding motorists from across Morris County, from Butler and Cedar Knolls to Landing and Long Hill, to be alert for white-tailed deer crossing their roads with the arrival of the fall breeding season, a time of year when deer may unexpectedly dart onto roads and cause accidents.
Motorists are urged to be especially attentive during morning and evening commutes when visibility may be poor, according to experts from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Deer are involved in thousands of collisions in New Jersey every year, with as many as half coming during the fall mating season, known as the rutting season.
An adult male deer can weigh 150 pounds or more, and can cause dangerous accidents whether on local Morris County or North Jersey roads or on high-speed interstates that crisscross the region, such as I-80, I-287 and I-78.
“People should always be alert for deer when driving, but especially at this time of year, when deer can suddenly run onto any roadway, from busy highways to country roads,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Chanda. “One moment of inattentive driving can result in serious or even life-altering consequences.”
Using caution while driving will become even more important when Daylight Saving Time ends November 6, causing commutes to align with periods when deer are most active.
For motorists, low levels of light and sun glare can make it very difficult to see deer that are about to cross the road. Moreover, multiple deer may cross the road at any given moment, usually in a single file.
Peak rutting season for deer in New Jersey runs from late October, throughout November, and into mid-December in all areas of the state, beginning earliest in northern regions.
Motorists are encouraged to inform the Department of Transportation of dead deer they find along the state highway system, and can share information at www.nj.gov/transportation/commuter/potholeform.shtm
Municipal and county governments are responsible for removal of dead deer from roads they maintain.
The following tips are offered to help motorists stay safe:
As a result of New Jersey’s deer management policies, the estimated population of deer in New Jersey, derived from a formula based on deer harvested in hunting seasons, is about 101,000, down from 204,000 in 1995.
This does not factor in deer inhabiting areas where hunting is not permitted. The DEP’s Community-Based Deer Management Program is available to help municipalities control deer in areas where sport hunting is not a viable management tool.
Listen to new DEP podcast about New Jersey’s deer population. Visit the Division of Fish and Wildlife website for more information on deer and for more information on the Community-Based Deer Management Program.