FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Wildlife encounters on the roadway can be unpredictable and increased deer activity on post should be met with increased vigilance by people behind the wheel.

Motorists should always be mindful of their surroundings, according Marcel Dumais, Fort Rucker community police chief, but certain roadways are experiencing increased deer activity.

"Both ends of Andrews Avenue near the Ozark and Enterprise gates, Hatch Road and Christian Road outside the housing area," he said. "Deer activity this time of year is peaking just after dark and in the early morning hours.

"The high activity season for deer is normally from the beginning of January to the end of February," he added.

Dumais said the increased activity arrives on the heels of population growth and the need to feed the next generation young deer.

"Deer are going through the annual 'rut' or breeding season, which leads to much more movement because of deer being chased by the bucks," he said.

What should motorists do in these areas of increased activity to help reduce the likelihood of an accident?

"Slow down a little and really pay attention to the wood line along the roadways," Dumais said. "Most people hit deer because they don't have time to react when they see the deer bolt out from the woods.

"Whenever you see a deer crossing the roadway in front of you, always assume there are more following," he added. "Deer normally don't travel alone. They have three or four in each group. If the deer is just standing by the roadway, slow down. The headlights from vehicles blind the deer, so they can run in front of your vehicle without even realizing they are going into the danger area."

Additional caution should also be taken during the lowlight periods of day, such as dawn and dusk, according to Dumais.

"During these lowlight periods, just slow down and watch for deer activity," he said. "Headlights will reflect the eyes of the deer off the edge of the roadways, so use your lights at dusk and dawn."