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Steer clear of the deer

Mating season means greater danger of collisions

Mating season means greater danger of collisions

October 11, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - This time of year, the buck stops, often, in the middle of the road and in the way of drivers.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife & Heritage Service and local police agencies urge motorists to drive even more carefully than usual this month and in November because of seasonal deer movement.

According to a DNR press release, the likelihood for deer to move across roads and highways spikes in October and November. More than 3,800 deer were killed in collisions with vehicles in 2003 alone.

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"This time of year, when they're mating, the bucks especially are moving a lot more in search of mates," said Maryland State Police Trooper J.W. Eichelberger. "Unfortunately, the commuters are the ones that pay the price. The deer do also."

Eichelberger said motorists should drive slower during this time of year and consider purchasing deer whistles to deter the animals from coming onto the road while vehicles are passing through their area.

"It's a cheap, effective precautionary measure," Eichelberger said.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Chris Howard said motorists need to be extra cautious when driving through rural and poorly lighted areas.

Howard said he has investigated several deer-related vehicle crashes in areas such as Md. 62 near Leitersburg and Robinwood Drive near Hagerstown.

"They're just moving around a lot this time of year," he said.

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