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November peak month for deer hits

Michigan DNR warns drivers to take precautions
Posted at 11:07 AM, Nov 18, 2021

It's always important to stay safe out on the roads, but especially right now. November is the peak time of year to hit deer on the roads in West Michigan.

"November is the month where the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions happen and the primary reason for that is because of the change in the deer's behavior that month," deer, elk and moose management specialist with the Michigan DNR Chad Stewart said.

Stewart explains that November is peak deer collision season, because November is peak deer breeding season.

Right now, collision calls to the Kent County Sheriff's Office are coming in daily.

"Absolutely daily. It does occur frequently," Kent County Sheriff's Office Undersheriff Chuck DeWitt said.

It may be inevitable that you come across a deer this month, especially during dusk and dawn. You may spot the glowing eyes of a deer from the side of the road ahead of time, but you may not. If you can't avoid the deer, the most important thing to remember is not to swerve.

"You could end up hitting a tree or another car, or going into the ditch and rolling your car, which is going to be definitely more dangerous in the long run," DeWitt said.

Stomping on your breaks as fast as you can is best. If the hit is inevitable, make sure to get to a safe area, call your local police department and report the hit.

"Don't get out on the road and approach it after you've hit it, just sort of keep away from it," Stewart said.

It is now officially deer hunting season in Michigan so you can keep the deer if you'd like but only with a special permit.

There are nearly 50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan each year, with the majority of those happening from October until December.