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Lockhart Community News
Oh dear, you hit a deer! Do you know what to do?
10/19/2021

White-tailed deer are on the move in Texas at this time of year. So are people, as the holiday season is quickly approaching. However, moving vehicles and deer in motion make for a dangerous—even deadly—combination.

 

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden in Caldwell County, Joann Garza-Mayberry, deer are especially active between the end of September through mid-January because it’s breeding season, also known as the “rut.” So, here are a few things to keep in mind for when you’re driving in and around Lockhart at this time of year:

 

  • Deer are most active at dawn and dusk when they are seeking out food. For this reason, slow down.
  • If you see a deer crossing the road in front of you, slow down immediately. Deer travel in herds and there may be more deer coming up.
    • Abruptly swerving to avoid an animal or object in the road could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, perhaps resulting in a more serious collision. It is usually safer to strike the deer than another object such as a tree or another vehicle.
  • If you hit a deer, pull over and stop the vehicle in a safe place. Assess the potential damage to your vehicle and determine if it is still safely drivable.  If there is damage to your vehicle or any other property, injuries or if the vehicle is blocking the road and creating a traffic hazard, contact the Lockhart Police Department or—if located outside Lockhart city limits—the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. 
    • NOTE: The deer involved may not be deceased. DO NOT APPROACH THE DEER! Observe it for a few minutes from a safe distance. There are instances where the deer is merely stunned and will jump up and run off.
    • If the deer is dead, you may move it off the roadway and leave it there.
    • If the deer is on a state road or highway, TxDOT will remove the dead animal from the side of the road.
    • If you are unsure if the deer is dead, wait for a law enforcement officer to arrive and assess the situation.
      • If the deer is not deceased, the officer/deputy will make a case by case call on the humane treatment of the deer.
  • A person involved in a deer vs. motor vehicle accident should treat it as any other vehicular accident and report it to their insurance carrier when it’s safe to do so. Accidents involving deer are typically covered under the comprehensive portion of a person’s insurance coverage and subject to that deductible.

 

  Game Warden Mayberry also wants to remind you it is illegal to possess a white-tailed deer or any part of it, especially antlers, that was hit by a motor vehicle. It goes against state law because a motor vehicle is not an approved means and method to harvest a deer in Texas. It is also illegal to use a hunting license tag to tag the deer, or any game animal, and take it with you.  If caught, you could be subject to a $25-$500 fine. 

 

(Photo courtesy: iStock)

For more information, visit Texas Parks and Wildlife. For county-specific regulations, click here

 


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