Drivers be alert, deer breeding season is here

Deer breeding season occurs from mid-October through December. Below, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center shares information about deer mating habits and tips for drivers this fall.

Male deer (or bucks) travel together in “bachelor groups” during late winter, spring and summer. In early fall they begin marking their territory by scraping the ground or rubbing their antlers on trees. They will playfully fight with each other, known as sparring. Eventually, increased testosterone and aggressiveness will force the bucks to separate and begin chasing does (female deer).

White-tailed deer are active around the clock, most often at dawn and dusk. Their unpredictable behavior during breeding season can prove hazardous to humans and result in serious accidents.

Drivers should remember these tips during breeding season:

  • Slow down and be attentive while driving through zones marked with deer signs
  • If you see one deer, assume others are nearby
  • Prepare for sudden stops and always wear a seatbelt
  • Do not swerve to avoid hitting a deer
  • If you hit a deer, pull your car to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, and report the incident to local police

The nonprofit Lake Erie Nature & Science Center provides free wildlife education and rehabilitation services to the public. If you have a question about local wildlife, please call 440-871-2900 to speak with an expert.

Morgan Paskert

Morgan Paskert is on staff at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

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Volume 14, Issue 19, Posted 11:25 AM, 10.04.2022