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As seasons change, experts urge Oklahoma drivers to take caution of deer crossings

Alex Galt / U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

Seasons are changing, which means motorists might need to drive carefully to avoid deer collisions, experts say.

Oklahoma State University extension wildlife specialist Dwayne Elmore said deer aren’t migratory, but they do often move within their territory as seasons change. Bucks often move when looking for a mate, Elmore said.

“They'll often let their guard down, and they become less wary,” Elmore said in an episode of SUNUP. “They'll cross roads, you know, with reckless abandon. And this is a time of year, we really need to be careful when we're driving, particularly during the low light periods early and late in the day and at night.”

According to Oklahoma Highway Safety statistics, 836 drivers crashed into deer in 2020. This year, four people have died from a deer-related crash.

Elmore advises people to slow down and not swerve when they see a deer. If a deer that is hit by a car is still alive, call a game warden at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. See more safety tips and information about deer on OSU’s website.

Seth Bodine was KOSU's agriculture and rural issues reporter from June 2020 to February 2022.
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