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Georgia DNR rolls out map to help prevent deer crashes

The state of Georgia sees between 45,000 - 55,000 deer crashes a year, and because of that, they put out a map that's going to keep you a lot safer.

JONES COUNTY, Ga. — The Department of Natural Resources says the state has about a million deer, and Central Georgia is a prime location.

Troy Day says he's had his share of collisions with the animals.

"I believe I've hit four deer with four different vehicles," he calculated.

Day says every collision gets your heart thumping and the adrenaline going.

"When you see one cross the road and you can't stop in time, yeah, that's scary," Day described.

Jeff Stanford has also experienced a deer collision.

"It's just like deer hunting -- they come out of nowhere," he said while shaking his head.

Stanford owns Stan's Body Shop in Jones County and he's busy.

He says nobody gets vacation in October and November because that's when deer mate and tend to run out into the road more.

"I would say 50 percent of the claims are deer damage," he said.

On average, the state of Georgia sees between 45,000-55,000 deer crashes a year, and because of that, they put out a map that's going to keep you a lot safer.

It's called the "rut map," and you can pinpoint the information down to your county.

Here's how it works.

 You'll go to georgiawildlife.com/rut-map.

Hover over and click on your county, and the map will give you the peak times the animals are most likely to run in the streets there.

"There's no way to tell someone how to hit a deer, but I tell them, if you can hit them square in the middle, it's the easiest to fix," Stanford.

DNR says it's also safer for you to hit them head-on, but if you know you're going to crash, slow down and don't swerve.

Remember, bucks chase doe at this time of year.

That, combined with shorter days and more drivers out at dusk, can really add up to danger.

"As long as they don't crash into the side, I should be good," he said with a smile.

Credit: Troy Day

Troy bought a bigger truck with a brush guard to avoid deer.

You don't need to do all of that, but check out the rut map, which will give you more information to help keep you safe.

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