Motorists in Flanders and other parts of Belgium should be aware of the dangers in this season of over-excited deer who may stray onto the roads, the Sint-Hubertus Association, which represents hunters, has warned. The reason is that deer are entering into the rutting season when their attention is fully on finding a mate, and high-level hormones among males in particular determine behaviour – or rather not.
“Around this time, male deer are trying to cover as many females as they can, but overcome by hormones, they’re not always aware of their surroundings,” explained Maarten Goethals of the association.
Collisions can be serious not only for the deer itself, but also for the vehicle and its occupants, he said. “If the accident is serious, we always advise drivers to alert the police. We also advise to contact the local hunter if possible, so that he can, if the deer is wounded, track it down and put it out of its suffering.”
The association meanwhile advises drivers not to approach a wounded animal or one who even appears dead. “For reasons of hygiene and also safety,” Goethals said. “An injured animal can act unpredictably.”