Motorists traveling along Cariboo Highways are being reminded to pay extra attention to deer now that the rutting season has begun.
Manager of the Wildlife Program for the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Leonard Sielecki said they’ve been monitoring wildlife-vehicle collisions on Provincial Highways for over forty years.
“We’ve been on top of deer-vehicle collisions in the Cariboo all of that time, and each year we estimate that approximately 530 deer-vehicles are recorded by our maintenance contractors along the Highway 97 corridor between 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.”
Sielecki added that many deer collisions in the Cariboo are recorded near Clinton, 100 Mile House, Lac La Hache, Williams Lake, and Quesnel.
During the rutting season, bucks will often challenge and fight other males, often with no regard to their surroundings and run out into oncoming traffic.
Sielecki explained when the most frequent times for these types of collisions to occur are.
“Through the year Dawn and Dusk are typically the most common times when deer-vehicle collisions occur, but with the rut, October and November are when the accident rates in the Cariboo for deer spike, an estimated 36 percent during those months”.
During the rut, deer are most active at night, when they feed, congregate and mate, but it’s important to keep in mind that deer in rut can run in front of vehicles at any time.
Some ways to avoid deer-vehicle collisions:
If you see one deer, watch for others, as deer seldom travel alone.
Be alert near wooded areas or green spaces, like parks and golf courses, and near water sources such as lakes, ponds, and streams.
Watch for deer crossing signs.
Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer as serious collisions sometimes occur when motorists swerve and collide with another vehicle or run off the road and hit an obstacle.