Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) reminds motorists to stay alert during deer rut. Rut, simply put, is the breeding season for whitetail deer. It occurs each fall and is triggered by shorter day length. Deer are far more active during this time. Rut can occur through December.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security reported 7,219 deer related crashes in 2017 resulting in 330 injuries and one fatality.
Whitetail deer are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Rut however, can alter deer behavior. Motorists should heed deer crossing signs and even reduce speeds in areas where deer are known to be active.
Motorists encountering deer should brake firmly and remain in their lane of travel. Drivers should also expect more than one deer. Deer are often in groups. Should a motorist hit a deer, they should follow their insurance provider’s recommendations for reporting the incident. TWRA does not keep deer-vehicle crash records or remove deer from roadways.
Deer killed by a motor vehicle may be possessed for personal use and consumption. However, the vehicle operator must notify TWRA or other law enforcement officer within 48 hours. To see deer-vehicle crash statistics visit https://www.tn.gov/safety/news/54029