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Oh dear, we're heading into the rut.

The Wareham Department of Natural Resources issued a warning on its Facebook page today that we may be seeing more deer in our area as the mating season approaches, also known as "the rut." The bucks will be out and about more than usual as they search for a mate, which means more unexpected occurrences on the road.

Wareham DNR recommends using "caution while traveling on rural roads, low-lying areas such as cranberry bogs and wooded areas." Now, more than ever, it's time to slow down and be aware.

The cost of a collision involving a deer is no joke, either. The Wareham DNR reports that an average collision with a deer costs around $4,000. I would be a deer caught in the headlights with that kind of bill.

Last season on I-195, a deer jumped out onto the highway right in front of my car. I was extremely lucky because there were no cars around me as I slammed on the brakes and heard its hooves scamper away out of sight. I was shaken, but not as shaken as I would've been with a $4,000 accident.

Did you know there is such a thing as a deer whistle? The Wareham DNR says that if you are concerned about hitting a deer, auto parts stores stock up on these deer whistles, which "deter deer by emitting a high pitched sound and they will run away." You can mount them on your vehicle, usually on the bumper, to help keep those deer on the side of the road while you're traveling down it.

But the best advice still is, as the official start of deer mating season approaches, keep a watchful eye on the road and slow down.

Click here for information on proper protocol if you hit a deer.

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