Wildlife officials urge motorists to look out for increased deer activity this winter

  • Published
  • By 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Wildlife officials at Hill are urging motorists to drive cautiously due to the increased deer activity on the roadways this time of year.

While deer are a year-round hazard, winter can involve increased risk if snow forces deer to search for food in unusual places, such as urban landscaping or plowed roadsides.

Deer activity is more likely to occur in the early morning and around sunset, which coincides with peak commuting hours during the short winter days. This is also when low-light conditions make it difficult for motorists to see.

To avoid deer collisions, follow these tips:

• Slow down and be especially alert at dawn and dusk.
• Scan both sides of the road as you drive, especially where shrubs or grasses are near the road.
• Avoid driving distracted. Put away phones and other distractions.
• When possible, use high-beam headlights to further illuminate the road and look for animal “eye shine,” which can be seen from a distance.
• If you see a deer on or near the road, slow down and be sure to watch for more to follow.
• Do not swerve for a deer or small animals. Brake and stay in your lane.
• If you hit a deer and your vehicle is damaged, stop at the scene, get your car off the road if possible, turn on your vehicle hazard lights, and call law enforcement or 911 if you were injured.
• Do not approach deer. They are wild and sometimes unpredictable animals that are capable of causing serious injury.

Also, do not allow pets to approach deer. Deer have evolved with predators that resemble pet dogs/cats and may seriously injure pets if they feel threatened.

Stay safe on the roads this winter season.