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September 20, 2000

For more information contact:
Larry Herrighty at 609-292-6685

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife urges motorists to be especially alert while driving this autumn, as it is a time when many deer are struck by vehicles throughout the state.

"Autumn is a bustle of activity for wildlife -- especially deer. Please stay alert and drive carefully," said Division Director Bob McDowell.

In the fall, deer population numbers are at a peak. Consequently, the potential for drivers to encounter them on the roadways is greatly increased. In addition, autumn is the breeding season for white-tailed deer and reproductive urges cause the animals to become increasingly mobile throughout October and November.

While deer may be seen crossing roadways at any time of day, they are most active at dawn and dusk; the same hours most commuters are traveling to and from work.

Drivers can avoid hitting deer by slowing down during these hours and being particularly alert in areas where deer typically cross. When deer are seen along the roadside, drivers should reduce speed and be wary of any sudden movement. If a deer crosses ahead of a car, the motorist should watch carefully for more deer that may follow in its route.