Beware of deer, Pa. Gaming Commission warns drivers

North­east mo­tor­ists should be on the lookout for white­tail deer and drive with ex­tra cau­tion at night. The deer are look­ing for love, not autos. It’s fall, and that’s the deers’ breed­ing sea­son, ac­cord­ing to the Pennsylvania Gam­ing Com­mis­sion. 

North­east Philly doesn’t have the num­ber of deer that can be found in the sub­urbs, but they’re here. For ex­ample, they travel along the Pennypack Creek or graze on prop­erty out­side North­east Air­port. They don’t have to stray far from those areas to be in the middle of busy streets.

Be­cause bucks are pre­oc­cu­pied with find­ing the op­pos­ite sex or stay­ing ahead of rival suit­ors, they’re not think­ing about the safe dis­tance they or­din­ar­ily keep from mo­tor­ists dur­ing oth­er times of the year.

The game com­mis­sion warns that, just be­cause a driver stops in time to avoid hit­ting a deer, he shouldn’t as­sume the danger has passed. Deer travel in groups and in single file. If one deer crosses a road safely, it could sig­nal oth­ers to fol­low, which they of­ten do blindly.

With the end of day­light-sav­ing time, more mo­tor­ists will be driv­ing to and from work at the peak hours of deer activ­ity: dawn and dusk.

Drivers who hit a deer with a vehicle are not re­quired to re­port the ac­ci­dent to the game com­mis­sion. If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania res­id­ents may claim the car­cass.  To do so, the per­son must call the game com­mis­sion re­gion­al of­fice rep­res­ent­ing the county where the ac­ci­dent oc­curred and an agency dis­patch­er will col­lect the in­form­a­tion needed to provide a free per­mit num­ber, which the caller should write down. A driver or oth­er per­son must call with­in 24 hours of tak­ing pos­ses­sion of the deer.

Antlers from bucks killed in vehicle col­li­sions must be turned over to the game com­mis­sion.

If a deer is struck by a vehicle but not killed, or poses a pub­lic safety risk, drivers are en­cour­aged to re­port the in­cid­ent to a game com­mis­sion re­gion­al of­fice or oth­er loc­al law en­force­ment agency.  If the deer must be put down, the game com­mis­sion will take steps to do that.

To re­port a dead deer for re­mov­al from state roads, mo­tor­ists can call the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of Trans­port­a­tion at 1-800-FIX-ROAD. ••

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