Deer Danger in Indiana: You Can Hit One in the City, Too
LAKE COUNTY, Ind.--You're driving about 8:30 at night on a road all by yourself. Suddenly in your headlights, a huge whitetail buck walks out. This time of year, no matter where you're driving, that's an increased danger in Indiana, says INDOT and the Dept. of Natural Resources.
"They are thriving and it is crop harvesting, hunting and mating season. So, the months of November and December are a big time to watch out for deer on the roadway," said Nichole Thomas, with INDOT's Ft. Wayne branch.
The Dept. of Natural Resources says nearly half of all car versus deer wrecks happen in November and December.
One of the easiest ways to keep from hitting a deer is to pay attention, said Thomas.
"Deer are pack animals, so we advise you to watch for the rest of the gang. They rarely travel alone. If one deer crosses in front of you, chances are there are more near by," said Thomas. She said if you've seen deer in the area before, slow down. And, always wear your seat belt.
If you see a deer, slow down.
"Brake firmly and calmly. Stay in your lane. Swerving can actually make you lose control and make the situation more dangerous."
She said sometimes to keep from hitting something else, you just have to grit your teeth and hit the deer.
"Sometimes you just have to understand that deep versus car collisions are going to happen. If you need to hit the deer, that's what needs to happen. It's better to hit the deer than to hit a tree or another vehicle," said Thomas.
Your best chances of seeing a deer are in the northern counties, said Joe Caudell, DNR deer biologist.
"Some of our highest collisions occur in the northern counties, Lake, Porter County and some of those and also in that north eastern corner," said Caudell. "Just that higher volume of traffic and greater movement of deer-those two things together wind up being bad news for drivers."
But, Thomas said you could see a deer if you're in Ft. Wayne, or in the middle of Indianapolis.
"If they can find a food source, they will travel to find that food source, and that is sometimes in the city," safe said.