Whats in the Woods Today? November 27, 2018

It’s Deer Time Again

by Area Forester Lisa Deaton

It is autumn in Virginia, so white-tailed deer are on the move again.  You may have noticed buck rubs on small trees similar to the one above and below.

sapling2

Bucks rub against trees to remove the velvet from their antlers when the antlers finish growing in September.  They continue to rub against trees and shrubs to mark their territory with scent from glands on their forehead.  I consider this one (below) the Picasso of buck rubs:

bucktree

I don’t know if bucks have a preference for American beech trees in our area, or if I just notice their artwork more often against the smooth bark.

bucktree2

Auto insurance companies would probably agree that deer are a major driving hazard in the fall.

deertruck

The driver of this brand new pickup truck hit a 4-point buck around 8 p.m. about a week ago.   The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries offers advice on how to avoid deer collisions here:

https://blog.wildlife.virginia.gov/2016/11/drivers-stay-alert-deer-are-on-the-move/

It never hurts to drive below the speed limit, especially at dusk, use your bright headlights whenever possible at night, and keep an eye out for wildlife on both sides of the road.

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