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SPCA Monterey County Blog

SPCA Offering Free Deer Whistle, Tips for Driving Safely Around Deer

SPCA Monterey County advises drivers to use extreme caution when driving to avoid hitting deer on area roadways this time of year.  Fall is deer mating season on the central coast and deer are significantly more likely to be on the move near and across roadways.  

The SPCA advises:

  • Be particularly careful at dawn and dusk when driving, especially where visibility is limited.  Use of high beams when appropriate can provide a greater area of visibility.
  • Slow down and use extreme caution when approaching a deer standing near the side of a road.  Be prepared for the deer to enter the roadway in front of the vehicle.  If necessary, honk your horn and flash your lights to try to scare the deer off of the roadway.
  • Be alert for more deer than you may see at that moment.  Where there’s one deer, there are almost always more nearby.
  • Use extra caution in areas where deer crossing signs are posted.  These are areas where deer are known to cross roadways.
  • Be particularly cautious in wooded and agricultural areas.
  • Call The SPCA immediately if you see any injured or orphaned wildlife. Thanks to the support of donors like you, we help over 2,500 injured and orphaned wild animals every year.

New this year! The SPCA is offering free Save-A-Deer whistles to anyone in our community who would like them. When mounted to a vehicle, car, truck, or motorcycle moving at 35 mph or faster, the deer whistle makes a sound that alerts deer of the approaching vehicle and can assist with accident prevention. While not 100% effective, deer usually react to the whistle by stopping, looking, and listening to determine if they are being threatened. To pick up your free deer whistle, please visit the SPCA Monterey County Animal Shelter.

Locally, areas of greatest deer activity at night are Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley Road, the Highway 68 corridor, Holman Highway, River Road, and Highway 1 from Seaside to south of Carmel.  

So far in 2022, the SPCA Wildlife Center has responded to 53 reports of deer hit by cars, with most of those sadly being fatalities. In September, we responded to 6 deer calls, and so far in October we received three calls.

In 2021 The SPCA responded to 46 reports, with almost all the deer involved either dead on arrival or needing to be humanely euthanized immediately. The average insurance claim for deer/vehicle collisions in the United States is over $4,000 per incident.