Tuesday, 25 November 2008

WARNING: Deer Car Crashes

I am not dissing 'Doolittle'. I am reporting the facts. Just the facts. I am Sgt. Friday after all. I am having a spooky wildlife existence right now. Where I am sitting writing to you, I look out onto Shore Lane. The road is snow covered with 2 ft. snow banks. Every day without fail I witness animal crossing or jaunting or dancing or hopping or running. They tease me. Too quick for me to get my camera. You have to trust me when I tell you these tall tales. I have seen every one of those above animals. The majority of my sightings are deer. This is where the 'warning' comes in.
October, November and December are the worst months for deer strikes. It's mating season, and the big animals are on the move, particularly during the hours around dawn and dusk. The number of white-tail deer — the most common kind regionally — has grown because hunting is limited in populated areas and deer have no natural predators here. Deer have adapted quite well to suburbia. Metropolitan parks and other woods offer havens for deer displaced by urban sprawl, and they're happy to survive by raiding backyard gardens and feasting on nut and fruit trees. Traffic has grown. Add in the region's hilly terrain — which limits views of the road and cuts reaction time — and deer strikes become even more common.
So, what can you do to prevent these accidents? Be aware: If you see one deer, expect others may follow. After dark: Use high-beams if possible. They illuminate the eyes of deer and provide more time for motorists to react. Don't swerve into another lane to avoid a deer. The greater risk is hitting an oncoming car. Drive defensively from 5 p.m. to midnight and during hours shortly before and after sunrise when deer movement is most frequent.
Until tomorrow, my animal loving friends.

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