Montgomery Parks Cautions Pedestrians and Drivers to Look out For Increased Deer Activity  

Arrival of fall and the end of daylight-saving time increases chances of deer-related collisions 

Montgomery Parks is urging the public, especially drivers, to use caution this fall, as deer activity reaches its peak. Late October through early December constitutes most of the rut, or breeding season, for white-tailed deer in central Maryland. During this time, deer activity is at its highest. Additionally, daylight saving time ends (November 5, 2023) which means commuters are on the roads more often at dawn and dusk.  

“As daylight hours decrease, acorns fall, crops are harvested, herbaceous vegetation dries up, and the breeding season, known as the rut, begins” said Ryan Butler, wildlife ecologist with Montgomery Parks. “White-tailed deer shift their movement patterns, compete for breeding, increase feeding, and prepare for the winter season. This results in more crossing of roadways and more risk to motorists.” Because of that, Montgomery Parks is issuing the following safety tips:

  • Be alert for deer on or near roadways and take precautions
  • Be aware that deer are most active from dusk through dawn.
  • Look for eye-shine along road edges. 
  • Deer may travel in groups, so if you see one deer, expect others.  
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs; these signify areas where multiple accidents have occurred. 
  • Never swerve to avoid colliding with a deer.
  • A collision with a deer can happen on any roadway in the county but be particularly cautious in areas where you observe deer often and where woodlands and other natural habitats run adjacent to the roadway.

Butler adds “Even though deer-vehicle collisions in Montgomery County are on a downward trend, the risk remains substantial, and drivers must be vigilant during this season when deer are crossing roads at all times of day and night.” For more information on deer and deer management in Montgomery County, please visit www.ParksDeerManagement.org.

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