State warns drivers to use caution on the roads during deer mating season

The state is warning drivers to be careful because deer activity is at an all-time high due to mating season.

News 12 Staff

Oct 19, 2022, 2:22 AM

Updated 645 days ago

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The state is warning drivers to be careful because deer activity is at an all-time high due to mating season.
“It’s a little scary when it gets dusk like this, it’s one of the bad things about fall I don’t like,” says Melvin Mayes, of Branchburg.
The number of deer on the road also means that some auto body shops in New Jersey are getting busier.
“I’ve seen it all,” says Sam Cancela, owner of Charlie’s Autobody & Repair.
The mating season will last through early December. The state Department of Environmental Protection and the state Department of Transportation have a few warnings about how to drive safely during the season.
The agency says drivers should use high beams when driving through dark areas so that deer eyes are reflected. Drivers should avoid tailgating other vehicles so that they have better reaction time if a deer does come out into the roadway. Don’t swerve to get away from the animal, just brake and stay in the lane. Drivers should also watch for Deer Crossing signs.
“It’s a little beyond our control because they just jump out in front of vehicles. Sometimes they’re at a light and the deer gets spooked and hits them,” says Cancela.
“It's a little scary, like a lot of things. It could happen just like that, and you just wouldn't know. And hopefully, it's not too bad for you or the vehicle,” Mayes says.
But if a deer is struck and dies on the roadway, there is at least one New Jersey business that helps to clean it up. Space Farms in Sussex County takes the fresh roadkill to feed some of the predatory animals on the farm.
“We're picking up a lot of deer and in return, we're feeding a lot of animals because here we have two lions, four tigers, two leopards, jaguars, bears. They're all trying to eat as much as they can to pack that winter fat on,” says zookeeper Hunter Space.
The DEP and DOT suggest that any animal-car collision should be reported to local authorities as soon as possible.


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