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Motorists Warned To Watch For Deer, Moose On Connecticut Roads In Fall

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division reminds motorists to be watchful of  increased deer and moose activity along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division reminds motorists to be watchful of increased deer and moose activity along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours. Photo Credit: Paul J. Fusco / CT DEEP-Wildlife

Motorists are reminded to be the for watch for increased deer and moose activity along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours, across Connecticut, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said.

Fall is peak 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.

DEEP’s Wildlife Division says motorists should be aware and heed “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.

Moose, which are darker in color and stand much higher than deer, pose a large danger. There is little reflective eye-shine from headlights because of their size and, when struck, moose often end up hitting the windshield of vehicles.

All moose and deer vehicle collisions should be reported to local, state, or DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Officers at 860-424-3333.

“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,” said Jacobson. “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.”

In June 2007, a young moose was struck and killed by a car on the Merritt Parkway near Exit 37 in New Canaan, seriously injuring the driver.

Most of Connecticut is not considered ideal habitat for moose because the state’s landscape is fragmented, roadways have high traffic volume, and moose have large home ranges (about 10 to 15 square miles).

Moose venturing into southern Connecticut, with high population density, road networks, and traffic volumes, pose an increased potential for human fatalities from accidents as compared with deer-vehicle accidents.

Residents throughout the state are encouraged to report moose sightings on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife .

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