Police warn drivers to watch out for deer on roadways
By JASON SCHREIBER Union Leader Correspondent
Authorities are warning drivers to be extra cautious on the roadways these days with more deer on the move.
“At this time of year there are very few days that we don’t have at least one deer accident,” said State Police Lt. Chris Vetter of Troop A in Epping.
The breeding season is underway and deer are on the hunt for mates, increasing the chances of a motorist encountering one on the road.
Fish and Game Conservation Officer Chris McKee said collisions between vehicles and deer usually pick up during the first two weeks of November.
“It always seems to be at nighttime or in the early morning,” he said. “You have to be more cautious because you never know what’s going to jump out in front of you.”
McKee said he saw more collisions a few weeks ago than he has over the past week, although he did respond to one in Hooksett and another in Salem on Wednesday.
A state trooper recently escaped serious injury in a deer accident in Strafford, and on Tuesday night Epping Police Officer Steve Soares hit a deer on Route 125 near the Lee town line but wasn’t hurt.
Epping Police Capt. Jason Newman said Soares had just returned to the highway after a motor vehicle stop and was traveling about 30 miles per hour when the deer ran out of the woods. Soares tried to avoid the deer but struck it with the push bumper on the front of the police cruiser.
Newman said the deer ran off into the woods and the cruiser sustained only minor damage.
“We have cruiser accidents with deer I don’t know how many times a year, but it’s more than one,” Vetter said.
Some of the major highways where deer are often a problem are Interstate 95, Route 101 and the Spaulding Turnpike, Vetter said.
Police are more concerned about deer crossing larger highways because motorists are usually traveling at a higher rate of speed than on back roads, increasing the risk of a more serious accident.
“They should be aware, particularly in some of the more heavily wooded areas, that the possibility exists that you could look up and a deer could be in your lane,” Vetter said.