EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Deer mating season is upon us, and game wardens are warning drivers to stay alert.
"He was yelling at me saying, 'oh my god, oh my god,' and then I hear this huge noise, and he swerves off the road and he goes, 'we hit it, we hit it.'"
Leabeth's husband hit not one, but two deer.
"It was really sad because I was like, oh no, we probably killed Bambi's mom," Leabeth says.
In fall, this is a common occurrence in rural east Texas.
"The bucks that are smart all year, they just kind of lose it. When they find a hot doe, you see stuff that you never see," Smith County Game Warden Chris Swift says.
Swift says during mating season, or rut, deer tend to lose their mind and completely lose track of their surroundings.
"You see bucks in the middle of the day, you seem them running across the roads, you see them in neighborhoods, they just don't care," Swift says.
It is a fatal attraction for these pack animals.
Deer are pack animals and rarely travel alone. If a deer crosses you, chances are there are more nearby, especially in heavily wooded areas, Swift said, sharing a tip game wardens are urging drivers to remember when traveling on any road, especially during the months of October and November.
"A lot more people get injured or killed during car accidents when a deer runs out is trying to swerve at that high rate of speed. Just let off the brake is what I would encourage. It's not worth swerving and getting into a head-on to avoid hitting an animal," Swift says.
One Kilgore woman was left completely stunned last year when a buck came onto the roadway and actually charged toward the car.
This unusual behavior, game wardens say, is similar to the actions of a buck in heat.
"You'll say 'hey, look at that deer on the side of the road, there is no way he would come into the roadway,' and inevitably they will," Swift says.
Swift says if you do hit and kill a deer, make sure to call your local authorities. Law enforcement will then call the game warden and they will handle the deer's remains.