RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Autumn is here and the sun sets earlier, which means its harder to see deer on the move.
Did you know that fall is the breeding season for deer? So deer will be more active over the next couple of months than any other time of the year.
With motorists driving more often in the dark, it increases the likelihood of encountering a deer on the road.
Colliding with a deer can cause considerable damage to the animal, people, and their property.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) recommends the following tips to avoid hitting a deer, including a key point that you can keep it for your own use:
- Slow down and be attentive, particularly at night (from dusk to dawn). If you see one deer, watch out for others.
- Deer habitually travel the same areas. Use caution when you see deer crossing signs installed in these areas by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
- Apply brakes, even stop if necessary, to avoid hitting a deer, but never swerve out of the lane to miss a deer. A collision with another vehicle, tree or other object is likely to be more serious than hitting a deer.
- Always wear a seat belt! Even if a collision is unavoidable, you are more likely to avoid injury or death if you are wearing a seat belt.
- If you kill a deer or bear while driving, immediately report the accident to a Conservation Police Officer or other law enforcement officer in the county or city where the accident occurred.
- If you kill a deer or bear while driving, you may keep it for your own use if you report the accident to a law enforcement officer where the accident occurred and the officer views the animal and gives you a possession certificate.