State officials warn drivers about moose and deer sightings

PLANTSVILLE – You may have noticed it lately when you are driving, as deer are making themselves known more than ever, but environmental officials want you to be on alert for moose as well.

One person that knows all too well about moose is Jake Harton. He’s known as the “Moose Man” of Connecticut. In fact, he has a collection of their antlers and deer skulls in his basement.

He and state environmental officials want everyone to be on alert for the animals when driving. October and November is the midst of breeding season for moose and deer. Just last year alone, there were approximately 3,700 deer versus car crashes in Connecticut.

“That’s the time of year when they’re most likely to jump out into the road, so last year we had about 3,700 or so collisions with deer,” said Bill Hyatt of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Moose are typically spotted in Northwest Connecticut while deer are statewide, mostly seen along the coastal areas.

While officials say deer far outnumber moose in these parts, it does not mean drivers should not worry about Bullwinkle on the Boulevard.

Experts said moose are known to have very poor eyesight, leading them to end up walking into roadways. Their dark fur also makes it harder for drivers to spot them before it’s too late.

“A collision with a moose, it’s a much bigger animal. It’s much more likely to fall into the vehicle, it’s much more likely to cause damage and much more risky to the health and safety of the drivers and passengers of the vehicle,” added Hyatt.

Harton’s fascination with moose has been taken to a very daring level as he was able to capture closeup pictures and one of them was taken as far south as Cheshire.

“It came within ten feet of me and I said, ‘okay, that’s close enough buddy’ because you don’t appreciate their size until they’re right there,” added Harton.

When you see the yellow signs that say “Deer Crossing,” officials said to take them serious and slow down.

They also encourage any moose or deer sightings to be reported on their website by click here.