The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 16, 2012

Look out, deer

Animals in rut require motorists to be on guard

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Garfield County deer are in rut, and motorists are being warned to take extra precautions while driving.

Garfield County Undersheriff Jerry Niles said motorists need to watch their speed and drive with their vehicle’s headlamps on.

“State law requires you have your headlamps on 30 minutes before dusk and 30 minutes after sunrise,” Niles said. “You need to have that extra lighting.”

The mating season for deer typically is about two months in the fall. It is known as the rut or rutting season, named after the male’s habit of rubbing its antlers against trees. During the season, males aggressively seek females for mating, and this urge causes the deer to become less timid and fearful of people.

“It’s not just highways and rural roads,” Niles said. “It’s also in town.”

Niles said he has seen deer in the 2800 and 2900 blocks of South Van Buren, as well as in the 1300 block of East Garriott in the past couple of weeks.

“We’ve worked several deer car crashes in the last couple of weeks,” he said. “Motorists should drive defensively, watch their speed and make sure they buckle up.”

Deer activity could be higher this year due to nutritional stress placed upon the animals by drought conditions throughout the state.