DEEP: Motorists must be watchful of increased deer, moose activity along roadways

Photo Credit: Paul J. Fusco / CT DEEP-Wildlife

HARTFORD —  DEEP is reminding motorists to be watchful of increased deer and moose activity along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours.

“Fall is the peak of the breeding season for Connecticut’s small but expanding moose population in the northern part of the state. The breeding season (also known as “the rut”) for white-tailed deer closely follows the moose breeding season, running from late October through late December,” said DEEP.

DEEP’s Wildlife Division said motorists should pay attention of “Deer Crossing” signs along state highways.

“Motorists are advised to slow down and drive defensively should a deer or moose be spotted on or by the road. Because moose are darker in color and stand much higher than deer, observing reflective eye-shine from headlights is infrequent and, when struck, moose often end up impacting the windshield of vehicles,” said DEEP.

“During 2016, approximately 3,700 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles,” said Rick Jacobson, Director of the DEEP Wildlife Division. “Over 40 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2016, with an average of two per year since 2002.”

Jacobson added “Two moose-vehicle accidents have already occurred this past September. It is believed that one of the moose traveled from Stafford to Essex over a five-day period before being struck by a motorist.”

DEEP said most of Connecticut is not considered an ideal habitat for moose because “the state’s landscape is fragmented, roadways have high traffic volume, and moose have large home ranges (approximately 10-15 square miles).”

If you come across a moose and deer vehicle collision, you are asked to report the incident to local, state, or DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Officers at 860-424-3333.

Residents throughout the state are encouraged to report moose sightings on the DEEP website here.