Peak time for car/deer collisions

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Damage from a deer collision on Edgartown / West Tisbury Rd. — Courtesy Edgartown Police

Deer are now in the mating season, also known as the rut, when the call of the wild induces hormone-crazed bucks to chase does over hill and dale, and sometimes into Island roads.

Deer can pop out virtually anywhere, but drivers should be particularly aware on up-Island roads. Chilmark Police Chief Jonathan Klaren told The Times that there were three car/deer collisions in the space of one hour on Nov. 8, between 4:15 pm and 5:15 pm.

“We’re averaging almost one collision a day,” he said. “They’re busiest just before and just after sunset, and throughout the night, during the rut.”

While some collisions are unavoidable, Chief Klaren advises motorists to come to a complete stop if they see a deer along the side of the road.

“I suggest you let the deer take its course and see where it wants to go,” he said. “Also, anticipate that the deer isn’t alone.”