Watch out for that deer
For the next several months, you may see more deer in Connecticut. Why? Because it’s mating season.
According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the mating season of white-tailed deer, which are very common in Connecticut, began in late October and extends through early January.
The average male whitetailed deer weighs about 150 pounds, while females are around 110 pounds, according to the DEEP. They are typically 71 inches in length and 39 inches high at the shoulder. The male deer are generally larger than their female counterparts.
In Connecticut, the peak of white-tailed deer’s mating season is the last two weeks of November, according to the DEEP. Fawns are usually born in June and weigh between 4 and 8 pounds.
The number of fawns born ranges from one to four. According to the DEEP, twins are common in Connecticut and even triplets and quadruplets have been recorded.
Because white-tailed deer have a high reproductive potential and few natural predators, populations have the potential to increase rapidly, according to the DEEP — and the more deer, the more likely a motorist is to hit one.
According to new claims data from State Farm, drivers nationwide have a 1 out of 169 chance of hitting a deer, elk or moose this year, and that likelihood doubles during the months of October, November and December.
“Last year, Connecticut was ranked 36 nationally with a 1 in 256 chance of colliding with a deer,” Arlene Lester, of State Farm, told The Bulletin.
This year, however — with a 1 in 293 chance — Connecticut drivers are 12.6% less likely to collide with a deer than they were last year.
“Changes in collision rates from year to year are a reflection of changing deer densities or population levels,” according to Ron Regan, executive director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
“More deer in a given area increases the potential for collision,” he said. “Deer populations are also affected by conditions, such as new or improved roads with higher speeds near deer habitat, winter conditions and other related factors.”
The top three states where a driver is most likely to have a claim from a deer collision are West Virginia, Montana and Iowa.
The average national cost per claim for a deer collision is $4,135 — up 6% from 2014, according to State Farm, and the hours between dusk and dawn are “high-risk times.”
When it comes to cleaning up deer struck by motor vehicles, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for state roads, while municipalities are responsible for local roads.
In Wilton, the public works department is responsible for “removing dead wildlife from town right-of-ways and town roadways,” said Jennifer Fascitelli, program coordinator for the Wilton Department of Public Works (DPW).
“We do not do this type of work on state roads or private roads,” she said.
Fascitelli said while the town keeps a log of “all resident calls regarding all work related to DPW,” it does not track or tabulate the number of wildlife it removes from Wilton roads.
To report roadkill on Wilton town roads, call the Department of Public Works at 203563-0152.
Click here to report roadkill on a state road to the DOT.
If someone were so inclined, they could take home a deer killed by a car.
According to the DEEP, if someone wants a struck deer, he or she does not need the permission of the driver who struck the animal, as long a state or local police officer or conservation officer gives the interested party a wildlife kill incident report.