ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Fall is a busy time for animals in the Adirondacks and New York in general. Bears fatten up for the winter, and many species of birds make their annual journey south. Perhaps less well known, it’s also a great time for deer and moose – not to hide from the cold, but to mate.
October, November and December are the breeding season for deer and moose. This means that populations of both species will become more active. Depending on where you live, you may be more likely to see a deer heading for a mate or a source of food or water – sometimes crossing a road in the process.
According to the DEC, drivers should be especially careful if driving through forested or even non-forested areas at dawn and dusk. Ways to stay safe from a collision with an animal include:
- Reduce driving speed when passing deer visible from the side of the road; deer can run away at the last minute
- Reduce speed if a deer crosses the road as other deer are likely to follow
- Pass it on – light flashes or another signal to warn other drivers after encountering deer on the road
- Keep an eye out for deer signs
- Pay particular attention to times of day and night when visibility is reduced
White-tailed deer have grown in abundance over the past century in the Adirondacks, largely due to overhunting of wolves. Each year, more than 500,000 hunters prey on the statewide deer population.
Moose are also abundant, but as a DEC protected species. During the month of October, the bulls (male moose) will face the cows (females) in practice fights using their antlers. Calves are usually born in May and June.