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There have been dozens of vehicle versis deer crashes in the region this fall. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Watch out for deer on roadsides

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Watch out for deer on roadsides
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

BY Sarah smith

Tis the season.

You better watch out, you better not cry.


Not fat guys in red suits. Deer, and plenty of them, sporting their winter darks, are lurking by the roadsides.

“I don’t know if it’s above normal but we’ve certainly had our share of them for this fall, no doubt,” said Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes of deer versus vehicle collisions.

“Deer are so unpredictable. When you’re driving at certain times of the day, evening, well into the night, you just have to pay very close attention,” Aukes added.

“Our squad cars have hit them as well and it’s one of those things that there’s just so many deer coming out of the ditches to feed, sometimes there’s not a whole lot you can do about it,” Aukes said.

“Drivers need to be aware that we are currently seeing a lot more deer ‘on the run’ right now, and more are starting to get hit,” said State Patrol, Trooper Curt Mowers.  “Slow down when you get to an area with trees on either or both sides of the road, and watch for deer!  We are seeing some bear getting hit now too,” he said.

“When you see a deer, slow down even more, but never ‘veer for deer,’ Mowers said.

“We want to avoid head-on crashes and rollover crashes just because someone was avoiding a deer.  It is best to get your speed down as far as possible and just hit the deer.  If you see the deer up ahead, you can try honking your horn and usually the deer will clear the road,” Mowers suggested.

And where two or more are gathered…

“Always watch for more deer too,” Mowers said.  “Try not to slam on your brakes, especially in traffic.  Deer seem to react better to sudden noises, rather than loud or ongoing steady noises, which is one reason why deer whistles are not all that effective, as they are constant

Like Aukes, Mowers said some collisions are unavoidable.

“Some deer are on a ‘hot run’ and seem to come out of nowhere,” Mowers said. 

“Those are the ones that are the most difficult to avoid, and most of the time it seems we can’t.  You can still be better protected by always wearing the seat belt, driving attentively, giving proper reaction to any situation, especially watching for deer.”

As far as the crying, some repair estimates are worth crying over.

Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
(218) 732-3364