Deer mating season: Authorities call for careful driving

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- As deer begin the rut, or mating season, authorities are seeing more deer-car crashes and calling for careful driving.

An auto body shop manager inspects the damage done by a deer on a vehicle.

On Thursday, Dane County reported five deer crashes. This week, Lafayette County reported ten. Last year in Wisconsin, law enforcement agencies reported 20,177 deer-related crashes.

Thursday morning, two people suffered non-life threatening injuries after a semi hit a car that first hit a deer.

Eddie Brewer, from Janesville, hit a deer Monday morning, just south of Deerfield. He was in his company car, which was then towed to a Madison auto body shop.

Brewer, who is a service technician working 24/7, said having his car in repair is a disturbance, especially in emergency work situations.

“It does damper down my ability to get to service calls,” he said. “So if we have an emergency, I’m not going to have the parts with me because that’s still in my work van. I’m just limited to basically my hand tools and a couple other things to get the service done.”

The damage also takes a financial toll.

Curtis Van Pelt, who oversees Brewer’s repairs at the Zimbrick body shop, said his initial estimates are about $8,000. An average amount of damage done by a deer, Van Pelt added, is between $5,000 and $25,000.

Deer are most active in the early morning or evening. If you see deer on the road, slow down and blow your horn once for a long time to scare the animals away.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation advises drivers not to swerve, which can confuse the deer as to where they can run.

If you do hit the deer, get off the road and call law enforcement. Do not move an injured deer.