(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) –The Pennsylvania Game Commission is advising drivers to slow down and keep an extra close eye out for deer this fall season as the end of daylight-saving time puts more drivers on the road while deer are most active and on the move.
According to the PA Game Commission, deer are more active around this time of year leading up to their fall breeding season known as the “rut” with yearling bucks spreading out across to find new ranges and adult bucks out in search of does, occasionally chasing them.
The Game Commission also said peak hours for deer activity are between dusk and dawn.
Couple this with the end of daylight-saving time, which puts more drivers on the road between dusk and dawn, and drivers can be at an elevated risk of hitting a deer while driving.
“While the peak of the whitetail rut is still a few weeks off, deer already are spending more time on the move and are bound to be crossing roads more often,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “While motorists always should remain alert while driving, it’s especially important now in the coming weeks to be on the lookout for whitetails.”
To reduce their chances of colliding with a deer, the Game Commission says drivers should be more alert while on the road by better understanding deer behavior. Simply paying attention in areas marked with “Deer Crossing” signs can also make a difference.
Data collected from around the country indicates PA drivers are among those most at risk of a vehicle collision with a deer or large game animal. A recent report also showed PA leads the country in animal-collision insurance claims during the 2022-23 fiscal year.
That same report says PA drivers’ chances of getting in a motor vehicle accident with a big game animal are among the highest in the nation at 1 in 59.
A driver who hits a deer with a vehicle is not required to report the accident to the Game Commission.
If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass by calling the Game Commission at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD and an agency dispatcher will collect the information needed to provide a free permit number, which the caller should write down.
A resident must call within 24 hours of taking possession of the deer. A passing Pennsylvania motorist also may claim the deer, if the person whose vehicle hit it doesn’t want it.
To report a dead deer for removal from state roads, motorists can call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.