Hunting Season Affects Drivers

By: Lauren Zakalik
By: Lauren Zakalik

It's deer season in Michigan-- not just for hunters, but for drivers, too.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department reporter nine car/deer crashes in a four-hour span of time Thursday night. But Sergeant Bryan Huttenlocker says these accidents are far more common than most think.

"We probably get about a dozen a day," he says.

But it's this time of the year, as the leaves change colors, that car/deer accidents spike.

"In October and November, with all the deer hunters, the deer-car accidents do greatly increase."

The strong correlation between Michigan's six-week hunting season and car/deer crashes is two-sided. The hunters both help and hurt the situation.

"The deer are still going to run [regardless]. They're just more susceptible to run when the hunters are pushing them. On the other hand, hunters actually help minimize, or help keep the population down," Huttenlocker says.

Most people assume the highway is where you're most likely to hit a deer. But Huttenlocker says the most dangerous place is off the beaten path. Rural or county roads are prime spots for deer to roam, and he says speeding on those roads this time of year is unwise.

"You shouldn't be driving high speeds this time of the year, you really need to keep your speeds down."

Huttenlocker says sunrise and sunset are when deer are most active, and drivers should remember that when driving during those times. But no matter what time of the day it is, he wants to remind drivers to keep alert and don't swerve for deer.

That way, you can leave deer season to the professionals.

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