An annual survey again lists Wisconsin as one of the worst states in the nation for car-deer collisions. This is time of the year when motorists need to be most careful.
The annual State Farm survey ranks Wisconsin seventh in the nation for car deer crashes, with drivers in our state having a one in 97 chance of hitting a deer. Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist with the DNR, says we are entering the most dangerous time of the year on our rural highways, "Well, the deer really get on the move this time of the year with the mating season kicking in, called the rut, and primarily the bucks for the most part will really be on the move looking for a little bit of love."
Wallenfang says crashes can occur any time of the day or night, but they're most likely at dawn or dusk. He says it's common to see several deer run across the highway simultaneously, "A lot of the time, when somebody hits a deer this time of the year, they get the second one. So they see the first deer go across the road, and then they think the danger is passed and they will keep on going, and then, you know, the buck will be behind that doe and they'll get that buck."
Hitting a deer can cause serious injury, particularly if the animal goes through the windshield. But Wallenfang says it's even more dangerous to lose control of your car in traffic, "You're probably better off hitting that deer in front of you, rather than slamming on your breaks and causing a pile-up of cars behind you."
The State Farm survey lists West Virginia as the most dangerous state, with motorists having a one in 57 chance of a car deer collision.