Drivers Cautioned About Deer Mating Season

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is warning motorists to watch out for deer, as auto-deer collisions occur most often between the months of October and December while deer are more active during their mating season.

By Marshall Griffin (Jefferson City, Mo.)

Data collected by the insurance company State Farm for its 2010-2011 survey period ranks Missouri 19th in the nation for most deer strikes—down from 17th the prior year. Captain Tim Hull with the State Highway Patrol says if you see a deer in or near your path, slow down and keep going straight:

“We see a lot of people injured and killed trying to avoid a deer by running off the right side of the roadway and hitting a tree or a fence or (their) vehicle overturning over an embankment or veer to the left into the path of another vehicle,” he said.

Hull said there are more deer strikes in the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas, due to the close proximity of major highways and wooded areas. Last year in Missouri, two people were killed and more than 350 injured in vehicle collisions with deer. Fall harvests and hunting also contribute to deer being more mobile this time of year.