2014-10-30 / Nature

Local Deer in a Rut

The local populations of white-tailed deer on Aquidneck Island have begun their mating and breeding season, more commonly referred to as the “rut,” which usually begins in late October and extends through late December. During this time, motorists should be more observant and cautious near deer crossings or known deer habitats.

Male deer, or bucks, have but one thought on their minds at this time of year, and that is to mate with as many female deer, or does, as possible. The bucks are more active and less cautious during this period, which makes them easier to hunt and more likely to be struck by vehicles.

Does may attempt to escape from an amorous buck and they, too, can suddenly dart into traffic. Last year, 1,089 deer were struck on Rhode Island roads, leading to vehicle damage and, in a few instances, motorist injuries or death. (Photo by Jack Kelly)

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