Don’t Become a Statistic in Deer Rut Season
Deer rut season (the mating period for deer) is now in full swing causing lustful bucks to chase skittish does at every chance available. They have only one thing on their minds- and it isn’t looking both ways before they cross the streets and wooded highways.
Deer rut season causes some serous bloodshed caused by animal- car collisions. Because of this we want to caution all of you driving Highway One or even the roads throughout The Sea Ranch to be ever watchful, scanning not only the road ahead, but also from side to side while driving.
According to California Highway Patrol Captain, Adam Jager, “The best way to avoid this type of collision is to always maintain a safe speed and stay vigilant of deer that may have entered the roadway. Driving distracted or under the influence greatly increases your chances of being involved in a car versus deer collision.”
What the Data Show
Statics published by State Farm Insurance show the odds are not in the favor of drivers. In fact, in 2015, 1 out of 169 drivers collided with deer, the same as it was in 2014. That likelihood more than doubles during October, November and December, when deer collisions are most prevalent during deer rut season.
Deer and Driver Collisions in Sea Ranch
Drivers report the evidence of gruesome collisions all along the roads lately. Drivers need extra diligence in watching for deer distracted in areas known to have high deer populations. From The Sea Ranch Chapel meadows through the length of The Sea Ranch Golf Links make up one of the most ominous stretches of road in The Sea Ranch. Other areas to be vigilant of are where roads that divide agricultural fields or streams from forestland. They are particularly dangerous. Be especially watchful during the mid-fall movement periods when deer seek new food sources and shelter as crops are harvested and leaves fall from trees and shrubs.
Tips to Avoiding Deer Collisions
And Don’t Forget These Deer Facts:
- They are on all roads
- Deer are unpredictable
- They often move in groups
- Movement of deer is most prevalent in the fall
- The hours between dusk and dawn are high risk times.
Santa Cruz’s Plan for Highway 17
Recognizing they had an crisis, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and Caltrans Districts 5 are collaborating on a design for the Laurel Curve wildlife tunnel, which will implement connectivity designs. Designers expect to provide a passageway for animals to safely travel across Highway 17. Helping in the research and design process is the organization, Pathways for Wildlife.
Below is their video showing how Pathways monitoring and connectivity designs for wildlife movement within a landscape will benefit both animals and drivers traveling Highway 17.
One Last Thought