Georgia officials warn drivers to take caution during busy deer season
From mid-October through the end of the year, deer activity in Georgia kicks into high gear.
Charlie Killmaster is the State Deer Biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
"Well we are entering the breeding season for deer and that's the time of year where they throw caution to the wind, and the bucks are chasing does all around and paying no attention to roads or anything like that. It makes them highly unpredictable and really dangerous for drivers," he told Good Day's Lindsay Tuman.
According to the Georgia DNR Rut map, which tracks the breeding season for deer across the state, the first two weeks in November are the most active for most metro counties including Cobb, Cherokee, DeKalb, Fulton, and Clayton.
"Pay as much attention to the roadsides as you can, especially at dawn and dusk that's when deer are most active," Killmaster said.
Killmaster says the deer can create a bigger hazard in the busier areas in town where there are fewer areas for hunters to control the population.
"It's more of a problem in metro Atlanta because we have such a lack of control over the deer population. We manage deer populations with hunting. And when you have suburban development that limits the access of hunters into those areas, but it's excellent deer habitat." he said. "So it's kind of a double whammy when you've got a lot of vehicles and a deer population that's not being effectively controlled."
Killmaster says if one does jump in front of your car, don't veer for the deer.
"The best thing to do is to slam on brakes and to keep the steering wheel straight. Don't swerve to avoid them, you could hit another car, a tree, something a lot less forgiving then just hitting the deer. It's better to hit the deer than to serve to avoid it." he said.
And if you spot one along the road, you're likely to see another nearby,
"The best thing is just to slow down if you see one and approach it with caution if you see it standing on the roadside. If you see one jump out in front of you, you always have to be mindful that there could be another deer behind that one, and it's often the second deer that people hit because they think the danger is passed," he said.
The most important thing this time of, year be vigilant of your surroundings, no matter where you are driving.
"We average around 50,000 deer vehicle collisions per year so most people at some point in their driving career will have some sort of deer encounter," Killmaster said.
As the DNR also warns, studies show deer whistles don't work, and you shouldn't honk your horn if you see a deer.
Deer hunting season runs through mid January.