SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is advising people to be careful of deer crossing the road.
Deer are most active during their rutting season of October through December as they seek mates. The animals are most active at dawn and dusk, and that’s when they are most likely to wander onto local roads.
“They can come out of nowhere and create significant damage to your vehicle,” DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said.
The resulting car accidents, whether head-on collisions or falling into the ditch to avoid a collision, can result in injuries to the driver and passengers.
Scott said to his knowledge there have been no human deaths as a result of a car hitting a deer in DeKalb County, but it can and does happen elsewhere.
In 2011, the sheriff’s office dealt with 100 car accidents relating to deer, accounting for 14 percent of all accidents.
The sheriff’s office released a list of safety rules on dealing with deer crossings from Wisconsin Sportsman Magazine.
Scott said it was the best resource he had when crafting the list, and that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources advises similar behavior.
Drivers should use high beams, but should take care not to harm another driver’s vision. Drivers also should be on the look out for more than one deer.
The sheriff’s advisory states that “Many near misses come when a driver concentrates on a deer that crosses in front of him and does not see the second or third deer that often follow.”
Drivers should tell local police about collisions with deer or if a carcass is a road hazard.
If a driver does not want to take possession of the deer after hitting it, any resident can do so.
However, a report must be filed with IDNR if the deer is going to be taken to a taxidermist or tannery.