Local News

Mating Season Can Be A Dangerous Attraction For Deer, Drivers

Posted Updated

CHAPEL HILL — Mating season for deer is under way. It is also a time when drivers should use extra caution.

On Tuesday, a deer rushed through the front window of the Paint The Earth ceramics shop in Chapel Hill.

"As I looked to the window, this deer was leaping through the window sill and coming through the glass onto the display area," says store owner Barry Slobin.

Experts say the deer may have believed the glass was an open area or thought his reflection was another male vying for his territory.

In Durham, a woman died after her car collided with a deer near the intersection of Cole Mill and Sparger roads Tuesday night.

A sign on Cole Mill Road warns of deer in the area, but animal protection says drivers need to heed that warning.

"They need to slow down. Any road -- it could be a local highway all the way up to one of our interstates -- can have deer all of a sudden running on it," says Dean Edwards of Orange County Animal Control.

Edwards says deer tend to move in groups.

"Be aware that if one crosses the street, there's going to be a second, a third and a fourth one that's going to be following close behind," he says.

Here are some other things for drivers to consider:

  • 80 percent of deer accidents happen between sundown and sunrise.
  • It is not a good idea to hit the high beams or honk the horn when confronted by deer. That will just scare them and send them running in all different directions.
  • Never swerve to avoid a deer. In overcompensating to avoid hitting a deer, drivers run the risk of crossing the center line, and causing additional accidents or even injuries to themselves.
  • Animal protection is asking anyone who sees a deer that has been involved in an accident to call 911.

    Mating season runs through December.