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Oklahoma drivers need to be aware of deer in November

Deer are active during rutting season in November in Oklahoma. Drivers should be aware.
by Robert Medley Modified: November 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm •  Published: November 10, 2013

Just before dawn, on a road near Lake Thunderbird, Micah Holmes was driving to work one morning last month when two deer leapt into the path of his car.

Holmes, a spokesman at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, knows not to swerve and lose control of a vehicle when deer appear.

He hit the smallest one, a yearling, as the larger one bounded off. The deer didn't live, but Holmes was not injured and the car just sustained damage to a headlight. It could have been worse.

November is the peak time for deer activity. Their mating season coincides with more traffic at dusk and dawn during morning and evening rush hours.

Bucks are running after does, not thinking of traffic, and the animals frequently run across roads. Deer are active all day during rutting season, and not just during twilight hours.

Most deer and vehicle collisions happened before sunrise and just after dusk. There are hundreds of crashes with deer each year, with many resulting in injuries, including some fatalities. The most recent statistics available from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office were in 2011 when 184 injuries and two fatalities occurred in 467 deer-vehicle crashes reported to the office.

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by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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• The archery deer season runs from Oct. 1 through Jan. 15.

• The muzzleloading season opens on the fourth Saturday in October and runs for nine days.

• The deer gun season opens the Saturday before Thanksgiving and runs for 16 days.


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