Fall is a wonderful time of year. The leaves change into a glorious colors, the air is crisp and cool, and it’s nearly the beginning of the holiday season! But do you know what else happens this time of year? It’s rut season for deer!
What is rut season? Rutting, or mating, is when bucks (male deer) search for as many does (female deer) as possible to impregnate. In the Northern Virginia area, peak rut season is about 3 weeks long. In many species, the rut is triggered by the shortening days. The rut season is different for each species as it also depends on the gestation period (pregnancy). Bucks act very differently during this time. They will rub their antlers on trees and drag their hooves in the dirt. This is a way of marking their territory. They will also spar with other bucks of similar size. Sparing is a way for them to show their dominance.
Why does all this matter? Well, it means bucks and does are much more active. This means that you are likely to see a lot more deer all day! If you see deer, do not approach them, especially bucks. Also, be sure to pay extra attention to the sides of the road when driving! Remember, if you see one deer, their are likely many more close by.
For some ideas on how to help you avoid a car accident with deer, check out this article by Geico.
Keep your eyes open and be careful out there! Happy rut season!