November is the start of deer hunting season, but it also is the number one month for deer collisions in Texas.
This year, Texas drivers are 3.4 percent more likely to hit a deer than last year, a collision that costs the average driver just under $4000 in insurance claims.
November is breeding season for deer, a factor that draws them closer to the roadways. Another, as Game Warden Eddie Hood explains, is that deer find food in bar ditches next to the road.
"There's some nutrients that they can get in the bar ditches and that's the reason you generally see them there at night," Hood said.
The peak times for drivers to watch out for deer are near sunrise and sunset and during the night. But, during the three to four weeks of the rut, or deer mating season, that gets thrown out the window. White-tailed Deer Program Leader for the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Alan Cain says that the weather can also influence deer movement.
"When the weather begins to cool off, if your talking about a frost, down in the 40s and stuff, deer will get to moving," Cain said.
The onset of deer mating season has also brought a spike in deer collisions. One out of every 314 drivers in the Lone Star State will hit a deer this year. State Farm agent Cheryl Botkin cautions drivers not to swerve if they think they may crash into a deer.
"You don't want to swerve because your going to have more of an accident than you would if you hit the deer," Botkin explained. "If you hit the deer it might be knocked to the side or go over the car, you're not going to be hurt as bad as if you were to try and steer and miss it"
Botkin also advised to use extra caution in deer prone areas, and in areas that do not have a lot of traffic, use your high beams as much as possible.