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Clare motorists warned to watch for rutting deer

MOTORISTS in Clare are being warned of the increased risk of wild deer on the roads, particularly in the east of the county, writes Fiona McGarry.

The Irish Deer Commission said that particular caution is advised from late September to early November during the rutting or deer breeding season.

A spokesperson said that while the rut is an amazing experience to witness, it is also a time when there is an increased incidence of road traffic accidents.

“Male deer go in search of females and younger males are ousted by dominant males forcing deer to cross roads and motorways,” a spokesperson for the commission said.

Dawn and dusk are the times at which deer are most active and high risk areas such as woodlands and mountains. East Clare has previously been identified by a national inter-agency report as a “deer hotspot”.

The commission is advising that during the rutting season, drivers would reduce speed where they see a deer warning sign and stay alert.

“Prepare to stop, never swerve as you could hit another obstacle or oncoming vehicle,” the commission spokesperson said.

“When you see a deer, dip your headlights, as the full beam may cause the deer to freeze. If a deer has crossed in front of your vehicle, be aware that others may follow. Do not approach an injured deer.

“If you are involved in a deer road traffic accident or come across a deer that has been involved in a road traffic accident, immediately contact the local Gardaí.”

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