LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas days are getting shorter and colder, making deer more active in wooded areas and on roads around the Natural State.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesperson Randy Zeller said that the change of season is what raises the risk of collision.

“This time of year you do see more activity throughout the day, but the main reason for the increases in deer/car collisions is because rush hour is now at dawn and dusk, which is when deer are most active,” he said. “It’s possible to have a deer/car collision any time of the day, but the most movement in deer typically occurs within an hour and a half of sunrise and sunset.“

State Farm Insurance also confirms that October through December is the peak time of year for deer-car collisions. The company has Arkansas on the list of high-risk states for this type of accident.

AGFC recommends several strategies to avoid hitting a deer while driving, beginning with slowing down. The extra time driving slower gives you to avoid a deer can be the difference between braking or colliding.

Drivers using their high beams as much as possible is a second recommended strategy from AGFC. It makes deer easier to see, especially as their eyes reflect the light.

Pay attention to deer crossing signs. Those are placed strategically, to show areas where people have seen animals crossing the road, or where car-deer collisions have taken place. 

Experts remind drivers to not swerve. Yanking the wheel to miss a deer can put you into oncoming traffic, or off the side of the road, both leading to serious injuries or worse.

If a driver does collide with a deer or other large animal, they should call emergency services at once if injuries are involved, or local law enforcement if no one is injured but damage has been caused to their vehicle. AGFC also would like a call at 833-356-0824 to report the road kill, and of course report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

And yes, Arkansans can keep a deer they hit for its meat without it counting on season limits, according to AGFC. The agency asks that drivers report the accident so wildlife officers will know where the deer came from.