ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Drivers may have noticed a lot of road kill deer lately, which is a telltale sign that deer activity is on the rise.
Business is picking up at Auto Body Center in Rochester.
"As of lately we've had a number of major deer hits -- large accidents where there was a lot of damage," said owner Bob Ludwig.
And when a vehicle hits a four legged roadblock damage totals can add up quickly.
"One was on a Cadillac like I said that had almost $12,000," said Ludwig.
Don Nelson of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said even those who take precautions aren't always the safest.
"Don't count on deer whistles they don't work," said Nelson. "The reflectors don't work very well."
And much of the safety factors fall on the driver.
"If you see deer on the side of the road, you see eyes, you should slow down," said Nelson. "You should expect to see more than one deer in a group."
During harvest time deer become more active, especially in the early morning and late evening hours. MnDOT tells drivers never to veer from a deer but, if you have to, hit it, to avoid a larger accident.
Sometimes there's just no other choice.
"You've often heard that phrase 'a deer in the headlights.' Well when a deer has headlights shined in his eyes it's blinded by those lights a lot longer than a person would be," said Nelson. "So when that deer is standing there, kind of frozen in the headlights, chances are he can't see anything."
A deer may not see it coming, but for Ludwig, his eyes are set on this season every year.
"I do a lot of deer hits like in March, April, May maybe one or two a month," he said. "But in the fall is what's called 'prime time."
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