TRANSPORTATION CABINET ISSUES “DEER ALERT”
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is joining forces with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Kentucky State Police to urge motorists to STAY ALERT to avoid collisions with deer this fall.
“We all need to be as alert as possible to avoid these mishaps, especially this time of the year,” said Acting Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert, who recognized that hundreds of Kentuckians are injured in crashes with deer annually. “We’re not only concerned with injuries, but with possible deaths from these crashes. There is also the potential problem of thousands of dollars in damage to a vehicle in such a collision.”
Collisions with deer are more likely now simply because it’s peak mating season for deer. According to Senior Wildlife Biologist David Yancy, of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the decrease in daylight hours triggers a reaction in male deer which boosts testosterone levels. “They’re not just tracking does; they’re competing with other bucks to establish territorial dominance,” Yancy pointed out. “In general the entire deer population is unsettled this time of year and deer are on the move everywhere.” Deer mating season may cover a time frame of three months or more, but Yancy stressed the fact that early to mid November is absolute peak time.
Commissioner of Highways Marc Williams noted that the Transportation Cabinet has “Deer Crossing” signs in place all over the state in areas where a number of auto/deer collisions have occurred in the past. “Especially during fall, deer are likely to turn up anywhere,” Williams said, “so, make note of any stretch of road where you notice a number of deer killed and add that to your list of danger zones, as well.” Statistics consistently show around 3500 deer are killed on Kentucky roadways each year.
Biologist David Yancey offered this simple analysis of the situation: “You have a number of very large mammals and a high volume of roadways. Our only chance to avoid collisions is to alter OUR behavior. We need to consistently be More Alert.!”