With spring and the odd weather we've been having deer vs car accidents are on the rise, endangering everyone on the road.
"It was a fawn with its mother and the... the doe went on across the road. The fawn stopped right in front of me," said Wichita driver Mike Wise about a close encounter with deer.
Wildlife experts say there's a natural bump in the number of deer crossings on the roads this time of year. But it seems like there are more than usual this year.
One of the reasons is a result of the other big bump in deer/car accidents, last fall's mating or rutting season. The deer are having their babies now. And the mamas like to hide the fawns in foliage, often right up alongside busy roads, and then walk away.
"It's pretty common every year, about this time," said Craig Curtis with the Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife & Tourism.
Deer crossings and the associated accidents are a well known danger for Kansas drivers.
"The deer, you know, was out in the road, and hit the brights on and the deer just go crazy," said Wichita driver Andrew Pham.
"Almost hit one on a motorcycle one day," said Wise.
"I've seen a couple hits, depressingly, around here recently," said driver Henry Southwood.
But the numbers appear to be up this year.
According to Lt. David Mattingly with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Dept, the county has seen 41 deer/vehicle crashes since April. That's compared to 26 for the same time period last year.
"She didn't have a close deer incident during the rut, during all November, but has had two of them in the last two weeks," said Curtis about his wife.
Even higher than the normal bump seen this time of year as doe are giving birth.
"If they find an area that they think is secluded enough they'll drop their fawns there," said Curtis, a wildlife expert.
Secluded areas like those commonly found right along busy roads. Then, the mamas leave their babies to search out food and to protect the young.
"So with spring going into summer now, the crops are starting to grow, so deer are changing food sources and trying to branch out a little bit," said Curtis.
They're wandering across roads to do it. The mamas aren't alone. Last year's fawns have been kicked out on their own to make room for this year's babies.
"You have all the one year old fawns from last year that are running around that don't have mom around to show them the ropes," said Curtis. "So they're kind of wandering around looking for food sources, looking for water."
What do you do if a deer does cross your path? The experts say hit it. You might suffer some damage to your car but are much less likely to be hurt or killed.
It may sound alarmist but you can die in deer related accidents. An average of three people do every year here in Kansas.
Department of Transportation officials also offer some advice for drivers. Be vigilant, especially in the early morning and early evening hours which are the most active times for deer. If you see a deer by the side of the road slow down and blow your car horn with with one long blast to frighten the animal away. Also when you see a deer look for others because deer seldom run alone.