An Iowa State University wildlife biologist has a warning for motorists — the fall season is putting animals on the move, posing highway hazards. Jim Pease says there aren’t as many deer in Iowa as in recent years, but during the white-tailed deer’s breeding season, they’re especially prone to dart across roadways.
“If you’re traveling along at 70-miles-an-hour on an interstate and a deer comes out in front of you…you have very little chance of stopping,” Pease says. “So, you need to drive very, very defensively, especially in the evening and in the morning, but at all times, actually, at this time of year. Because, they’re not looking for you. They’re looking for each other.”
An annual report released last week by State Farm Insurance placed Iowa third among the 50 states for the likelihood of a motorist hitting a deer. The report places a motorist’s chances of hitting deer in Iowa at 1 in 73. But, the likelihood of hitting a deer declined by 9-percent in Iowa compared to the previous year’s survey.
While deer numbers may be down, Pease says heavy rains during the spring nesting season appear to have also reduced Iowa’s pheasant population. Pease made his comments on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa program.