(KMSP) - Deer hunting season is almost upon us and that means more encounters with deer on Minnesota roads.
The season started early for one sheriff's deputy in Isanti County when he struck a deer while responding to a call over the weekend. He had his lights and sirens on when the deer popped out of the ditch.
In a Facebook post, the Isanti County sheriff's office said the deputy did not swerve to avoid the deer, but braked and stayed in his lane even though the hood of his car went into his windshield after the collision.
Photos taken of the aftermath show the deputy hit the deer head on. The front of his squad car was significantly damaged, but it could have been worse if he had swerved and rolled his car, the sheriff's office wrote. (WARNING: photos may contain graphic content)
Fall, which is mating season for deer, is the most dangerous time for drivers on the roads. In October, November and December, drivers are more than twice as likely to collide with a deer or other large animals, according to a recent study by State Farm Insurance.
This year could prove particularly hazardous for Minnesota drivers. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that deer numbers are up in 2017 following three relatively mild winters and three years of conservative harvest regulations.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety emphasizes that drivers should not swerve to avoid a deer. Swerving can cause them to lose control and travel off the road into oncoming traffic.
A semi driver who swerved to avoid hitting a deer caused a five-car crash in southern Minnesota that injured six people on Sunday.
More tips on how to avoid deer crashes can be found here.