Deer most active in fall months

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 Deer have been laying low, avoiding the heat and biting flies for most of the late summer. Once the weather turns cooler, especially after the first frost, deer become very active.

The deer breeding season is called the rut, and begins in the fall between first frost and first hard freeze, approximately in late October or early November. Deer become much more active and travel greater distances. 

Bucks become aggressive and fawns are now weaned and independent of their mothers. Both bucks and does are ready to breed. Peak activity time is early morning and late evening. This is when collisions with deer are most likely.

If you see a deer near a roadway, slow down. They travel in loose packs and there may be as many as six more deer following the first one that crossed the road in front of you. 

Deer have no comprehension of vehicles and roadways. Sometimes the car hits the deer and sometimes the deer hits the car. 

Deer are not just in rural areas. They have become common in subdivisions. Deer have been documented throughout the county, including in downtown La Grange, Crestwood and Pewee Valley. They often bed down in cemeteries or overgrown fence rows in urban areas.

Deer like subdivisions because they have plenty of landscaping plants to eat and some well-intentioned but misinformed people put food out for them. The more food a doe has the more likely she is to have twins or triplets, instead of a single fawn.

When deer become overpopulated, there is not only an increase in the number of collisions with vehicles, but disease outbreaks as well. 

Kentucky has a long deer hunting season, which opened with archery Sept. 1. Deer hunters keep deer populations healthy by reducing their numbers to a manageable level, which hopefully in turn will reduce the number of deer-to-car collisions.

— Submitted by Barbara Rosenman, director of Oldham County Animal Control