By ALLISON SEIBEL
The changing season brings more pumpkins, more fallen leaves and more deer.
Deer breed from October to December and, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website, there is probably about 800,000 to 1 million deer in Missouri. According to a January 2010 Missourian report, last hunting season Boone County was ranked 18th out of the 114 counties for deer kills.
Here are some tips to help stay safe on the road for the next couple of months, from Jennifer Battson, the wildlife regional supervisor of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s central office in Columbia.
- Be careful at dusk and in the pre-dawn, early morning hours as deer are more likely to move at these times.
- Don’t overdrive the length of your headlights at night.
- Keep an eye on the periphery of your headlights at night as well. Deer can run not only in front of your vehicle, but also into the side of it.
- When you see a deer crossing sign, take it seriously and reduce your speed.
- If you see one deer, slow down and look for other deer. They are often focused on closely following each other.
- Be aware of what’s around you. If you’re on a road that has wooded areas on either side, deer are more likely to be present. They tend to move where they have cover.