What is in this article?:
- Deer, wild hog car collisions cost $1 billion annually
- Deer collision more likely
- Trend is upward
- Deer collisions cost $1 billion annually
- Hog damage also significant
- A human health issue
Deer collision more likely
While car collisions with feral hogs are a constant threat, drivers are more likely to have a too-close encounter with whitetailed deer during the animals' breeding season, called the "rut" than any other time of the year. Rut begins in early November in Texas.
"November and December mark the breeding season for whitetail deer for most of the state of Texas," Higginbotham said. "It can run through Christmas in Deep South Texas.
"This is the time of year when drivers need to be particularly vigilant as they drive in rural areas or any area that has high deer populations."
During the breeding season whitetail bucks "throw caution to the wind" as they chase does, he said. This is why drivers often see a deer cross the road safely ahead of them, usually a doe, but then get hit by the buck that's blindly pursuing the doe.
The peak of the breeding period varies from one region of Texas to another, but there's one sure way to know when it's happening in your area, he said.
"If there's any doubt when the peak of the breeding season is in your area check with the local auto-body shops," he said. "That's when the number of deer accidents usually top out."
Feral-hog vehicle collisions are more likely in late summer or late winter as the animals cross and feed along roadways and rural roads in search of food, Higginbotham said. The risk is not tied to a specific breeding season because hogs breed 12 months out of the year.
But there's no question that hog-car encounters are always a danger, and the incidences are increasing yearly, he said.