ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The fall is a busy time for the animals of the Adirondacks and New York at large. Bears are fattening up for the winter, and many bird species are making their annual journey south. Perhaps less well-known, it’s also a big time for deer and moose – not for hiding from the cold, but for mating.

October, November and December constitute breeding seasons for deer and moose. That means that populations of both species will be getting more active. Depending on where you live, you may be more likely to see a deer making its way to a mate or food or water source – sometimes crossing a roadway in the process.

According to the DEC, drivers should take special caution if driving through wooded or even non-wooded areas around dawn and dusk. Ways to stay safe from colliding with an animal include:

  • Reducing driving speed when passing by deer that are visible from the roadside; deer can bolt at the last minute
  • Decrease speed if a deer is crossing the road, as more deer are likely to follow
  • Pass it along – flash brights or another signal to warn other drivers after encountering deer on the road
  • Keep an eye out for deer crossing signs
  • Take special caution at times of day and night when visibility is reduced

The white-tailed deer has grown in abundance over the last century in the Adirondacks, due in no small part to the overhunting of wolves. Annually, more than 500,000 hunters take on the deer population across the state.

Moose are also abundant, but as a species protected by the DEC. During October, bulls (male moose) will compete over cows (females) in sparring matches using their antlers. Calves are typically born in May and June.