If you’re on Manitoba roads at this time of year, you may need to keep an eye out for some unexpected traffic.
Manitoba motorists are being advised to be on the alert for deer appearing out of nowhere, as the animals’ mating season — known as the rut — is upon us.
According to FortWhyte Alive wildlife interpreter Barrett Miller, the rutting instinct is so powerful that some male deer will even ignore oncoming traffic to get the attention of a potential mate — something that can be dangerous during rush hour, the time of day when deer are most active.
“Those males — as we get into October — will only have one thing on the mind,” said Miller.
“If they get on the trail of a female, they won’t look both ways before crossing traffic, and if that female is not quite in the mood for his attentions yet, she will run to get away from him.”
“On average (there are) about 1,100 per month, overall 10,000 per year … and roughly 80 per cent of those collisions involve vehicles and deer.
“It can be very traumatic for the driver and passengers in the vehicle, not to mention for the deer. You need to be on the lookout for deer, particularly if you’re travelling in areas with a lot of bush and grass cover.”
Smiley said drivers who do encounter a deer on the road shouldn’t try to swerve –swerving could cause a collision with oncoming traffic, or cause your vehicle to roll into a ditch.
Instead, drivers should apply their brakes and continue going straight through the animal.