DEEP and AAA Urge Motorists to Watch for Deer and Moose This Fall
DEEP and AAA Urge Motorists to Watch for Deer and Moose This FallThe Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and AAA reminds motorists to be watchful of increased deer and moose activity along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours.
Fall is the peak of the breeding season for Connecticut's moose population in the northern part of the state. The breeding season (also known as "the rut") for white-tailed deer closely follows the moose breeding season, running from late October through late December.
DEEPís Wildlife Division says motorists should be aware of and heed "Deer Crossing" signs along state highways. Motorists are advised to slow down and drive defensively should a deer or moose be spotted on or by the road. Because moose are darker in color and stand much higher than deer, observing reflective eye-shine from headlights is infrequent and, when struck, moose often end up impacting the windshield of vehicles. All moose and deer vehicle collisions should be reported to local, state, or DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Officers (860-424-3333).
According to the DEEP, there were more than 4,000 deer strikes in Connecticut last year, though most go unreported.
"During 2017, approximately 4,122 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles, which is down considerably from 10 years ago," said Andrew LaBonte, Deer Program Biologist for the DEEP Wildlife Division. "While the number of collisions has fallen over the past 10 years motorists should remain vigilant this time of year as to the presence of deer near roadways."
"Hitting a deer can be costly, even fatal" says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. "According to UConn Crash Data, deer strikes resulted in a driverís death last year and the year before."
According to the latest DEEP data Glastonbury had the greatest number of reported deer strikes.
"The fact that the greatest number of reported deer strikes was in Glastonbury clearly illustrates that where deer and drivers intersect, thereís a greater risk to both", Parmenter says.
In the event of a collision with an animal, AAA recommends:
AAA has some tips to help prevent a crash or to reduce damage from an animal collision:
While rare, moose strikes do occasionally occur in Connecticut, and because of their size can result in significant damage to a vehicle.
"Over 40 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2017, with an average of two per year since 2002,"said LaBonte. "One moose-vehicle accident was recently reported in late September on Route 20 in Hartland, where the majority of the moose-vehicle accidents have been reported over the years."
Most of Connecticut is not considered ideal habitat for moose because the stateís landscape is fragmented, roadways have high traffic volume, and moose have large home ranges (approximately 10-15 square miles). Moose venturing into southern Connecticut, with high population density, road networks, and traffic volumes, pose an increased potential for human fatalities from accidents as compared to deer-vehicle accidents. Residents throughout the state are encouraged to report moose sightings on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife.