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. ••