Late peak for deer rut adds extra danger to local roads

Hampshire County

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Deer mating season adds an extra danger to the local roads. There are more than 100,000 deer in Massachusetts. Usually, deer mating season peaks in mid-November, but the weather has delayed that.

Adam Woznikowski showed us the photos of his unfortunate Monday morning encounter with a deer on Route 20 on Boston Road in Wilbraham. Luckily the airbags didn’t go off, his car can be repaired, and he wasn’t hurt.

“A deer jumped over the guard rail. No time to react. It smashed into the passenger side of my car,” explained Woznikowski.

You’ve heard the expression, “caught like a deer in the headlights.” That’s exactly what you shouldn’t do if you see a deer in the middle of the road. The deer will likely freeze. Instead, brake firmly, avoid swerving and honk instead of flashing your lights. If you hit and kill a deer, you can keep the animal.

“You are supposed to notify the environmental police and they’ll come and give you a tag. The person driving or the passenger can keep the deer,” said deer checker John Martelli.

Easthampton’s deer check station weighs, measures bags and records the kill of the hunt. They’re right next door to the Mass Audubon Society. Scientist Tom Lautzenheiser told 22News about the population.

“I personally would say western Mass has an adequate or even too high a deer population, but state wildlife managers tend to want to encourage the deer population to provide a hunting resource,” said Lautzenheiser.

This week and next marks shotgun season for deer hunters hoping to bag a trophy buck during this active mating season.

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