This huge Washington animal is looking for love making them dangerous this time of year.
Washington State Officials Warn of Rutting Season
Are you familiar with the term rutting season? It is when male elk are trying to find a female or cow elk to mate with. Every year from late September until mid-October, elk are very active and distracted while they are on their journey. This makes them susceptible to causing car accidents this time of year according to a recent warning by WSDOT. Every year in Washington there are over 1,500 reports of human injury or fatality, or property damage exceeding $1,000 caused by deer or elk collisions. There are also an estimated 5,000 collisions with deer and 200 collisions with elk occur each year according to the report by the WSDOT. Most of these numbers are created by accidents where large amounts of deer or elk are gathered like during rutting season.
Elk & Deer: Danger Areas on Washington State Roads
WSDOT has released a short list of roads and the areas you need to be aware of for deer or elk. Some of these locations are: (Elk) I-90 Easton/Cle Elum vicinity & Ryegrass vicinity west of Vantage, (Deer) U.S. 97 north of Goldendale, (Mule Deer) Wenatchee on highways both north and west of the city, (Mule Deer) State highways in the Methow and Okanogan River Valleys, (deer) SR-124 and US-12 along the Touchet River Valley, (Deer) State Route 20 and State Route 525, and (Elk) Highways near Willapa Bay. Officials say if you encounter a large group of deer or elk, slow down and be aware because they can be unpredictable and shoot off the side of the road suddenly. If the large group is crossing the road, stop and wait until the herd has completed before continuing on your trip. To find out more information on how deer and elk impact the safety of Washington State roads, click here.