Love is in the air. Literally. This time of year is known as 'The Rut' for Iowa's deer population. It's mating season. It also means that deer can be much more active than normal and that means racing out into traffic and the path of your vehicle.

There are several phases to the rut. There is the pre-rut and the seeking phase which is just wrapping up now. What happens next is called the chasing phase. It is exactly what it sounds like. Bucks chasing around does. This will go on for several weeks before any mating occurs.

While this time of year can be hazardous to motorists it can be heaven for hunters. It is currently bow hunting season for deer hunters. Understanding how the rut can affect deer behavior can be a big help in bringing down that trophy buck. But the hunters combined with the chasing phase of the rut means that there are deer running around everywhere, either looking for love or trying to avoid hunters.

As always, be mindful and alert during dawn and dusk for increased deer activity. Slow down near marked deer crossings, but also be aware deer can pop up anywhere this time of year!


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