WARNING FOR DRIVERS: Peak season for deer activity has arrived

State officials are reminding residents that September through October is peak season for deer and moose activity, especially during early morning and evening hours.

The breeding season (also known as "the rut") for white-tailed deer runs from late October through late December.

And September and October represent the peak of the breeding season for Connecticut's small but expanding moose population in the northern part of the state, according to a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) release.

“During 2013, approximately 7,300 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles,” said Rick Jacobson, director of the DEEP Wildlife Division.

“A total of 25 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2014, with an average of two per year since 2002,” Jacobson said. “Moose-vehicle accidents are expected to increase as the moose population expands.”

All deer and moose vehicle collisions should be reported to local, state or DEEP environmental conservation police officers at 860-424-3333.

Be aware, drive defensively

Drivers should be aware and heed “Deer Crossing” signs erected by highway departments. Motorists are advised to slow down and drive defensively should a deer or moose be spotted on or by the road.

Because moose are darker in color and stand much higher than deer, observing reflective eye-shine from headlights is infrequent and, when struck, moose often end up impacting the windshield of vehicles.

Most of Connecticut is not considered ideal habitat for moose because the state’s landscape is fragmented, roadways have high traffic volume, and moose have large home ranges (about 10 to 15 square miles).

Moose have been seen in region

Moose venturing into southern Connecticut, with high population density, road networks and traffic volumes, pose an increased potential for human fatalities from accidents as compared to deer-vehicle accidents. Moose have been sited in towns near Shelton in recent years, including Monroe and Trumbull.

Residents throughout the state are encouraged to report moose sightings on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife.