Be Deer aware as the rut is underway

Two stags lock horns at the Spinc, Glendalough during the rut (Pic.Chris Bolton)

The rut is well under way across Wicklow at the moment as Stags seek out their female counterparts. Wicklow see’s some of the highest deer related car accidents at this time of year.

The National Parks & Wildlife Service are reminding drivers to watch out for deer particularly at dawn and dusk.

Our advice to drivers is:
When you see deer warning signs, check your speed and stay alert.
If your headlights are on, use full-beams when you can; but dip them if you see deer as they may ‘freeze’.
More deer may follow the first one you see.
Be prepared to stop. Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer. A collision with oncoming traffic or another obstacle could be even worse.
If you have to stop, use your hazard warning lights.
Do not approach an injured deer – it could be dangerous-Report to the Gardai.

If you collide with a deer (or witness a collision) and someone may be injured, or if vehicles or deer in the road are a risk to road safety, then you should report this to the Gardai.
As days get shorter in the autumn busy traffic times coincide with dawn and the early part of the night when deer are most active and hardest to spot. In wooded areas in particular, there may be very little warning before one or several deer bolt across” said Denis Strong
Deputy Regional Manager, National Parks & Wildlife Service..

NOTE for Photographer’s and Hillwalkers…….Deer are wild animals, even in the parks. They are also large and can potentially be dangerous if you try to get too close, are caught between rivalling stags or a male and his hinds. Be cautious, take your time. Evaluate the scene, look for the dominant male and assess a route for approach. Move directly towards your subject, using trees and ground for cover, stopping regularly to assess your subjects response. If they seem startled at all, wait or move away. An image is never worth your subjects distress.

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