Deer in rut pose danger to motorists

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — It’s officially that time of year. Deer are entering the rut and are on the move more than any other time of the year.

This can spell trouble for motor vehicles.

“When the rut happens, the bucks are actively seeking the does. So they’re going to be on the move more,” said Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Wildlife Officer Bubba Spencer. “And with these cold temperatures coming up this weekend and next week, it’s going to increase deer activity in general. There’s going to be a lot of deer moving across the landscape.”

In places like Natchez Trace State Park, a known place for deer crossings, deer like to cross in the late afternoons and in the early mornings.

Due to the rut this time of year, deer are more mobile than any other time of the year. If you happen to encounter a deer that looks like it’s getting ready to cross the road, make sure you slow down or even come to a stop to give that deer ample time to cross safely.

In the event that you do hit a deer, TWRA Wildlife Officer Bubba Spencer offered instructions on how to handle that situation.

“At that moment, you can call any law enforcement agency. And then at that point, it depends if the deer is alive or dead. And then if it is alive, someone will have to come out and dispatch it. Then, you know, there’s a lot of times someone hits a deer and then wants to keep it. And if they want to keep it, they just have to notify local law enforcement,” Spencer said.

Officials say never try to speed past a deer that looks as if it’s trying to cross the road. Instead, make sure to slow down and allow it to pass.

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