Deer, moose and elk rutting season starts around Halloween and runs into December, with aggressive males looking to fight for the right to mate.
B.C.’s transportation ministry has put out a warning for drivers to keep watch along roads and highways, where wild animals are more likely to make sudden runs that can cause accidents. Drivers are advised to use headlight high beams in darker conditions, and give a long blast on your horn to keep approaching deer, moose or elk away from your vehicle.
Every fall, B.C. Conservation Service officers deal with rutting incidents in urban areas, where deer have become more numerous. In late October, Victoria Police intervened after two Columbia blacktail bucks got tangled up in a fishing net, dragging a large chunk of driftwood around as they battled each other to exhaustion.
In Prince Rupert, deer became internet celebrities after accidentally decorating their antlers. One was dubbed “Hammy” after touring the community with a backyard hammock on its head in 2017, and in late October another deer was spotted with a pink exercise ball trapped in its antlers.
“As this season poses an increased risk for deer-vehicle collisions, travellers on B.C. highways are reminded to pay attention, especially when driving at dusk, dawn and night hours when these animals are most active,” the ministry said in a statement Nov. 12.
Roads near wooded areas, streams or lakes, tree lines, parks and golf courses are more likely to have deer or other wildlife in the vicinity. The ministry has activated motion-sensor signs in some high-risk highway stretches, most recently on Highway 18 in the Cowichan Valley.