NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Drivers should watch for deer along roads this time of year as young animals spread from their homes.

According to the Game and Fish Department, October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents.

Drivers are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer.

Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.

Drivers should be aware of warning signs signaling deer are in the area.

When you see one deer cross the road, look for a second or third deer to follow.

Also, pay attention to roadways posted with Deer Crossing Area caution signs.

Deer-vehicle accidents are at times unavoidable.

If an accident does happen, law enforcement authorities do not have to be notified if only the vehicle is damaged.

However, if the accident involved personal injury or other property damage, it must be reported.

In addition, a permit is required before taking possession of road-killed deer.

Permits are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement.

A few precautions can minimize the chance of injury or property damage in a deer-vehicle crash:

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t swerve or take the ditch to avoid hitting a deer. Try to brake as much as possible and stay on the roadway. Don’t lose control of your vehicle or slam into something else to miss the deer. You risk less injury by hitting the deer.
  • If you spot a deer ahead, slow down immediately, and honk your horn.