ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Moose are on the move in the Adirondacks and state officials are advising drivers to watch out for them on roadways.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says early fall is breeding season for moose in northern New York and the animals are wandering into areas where they're not typically seen, searching for mates.
The agency says three moose died in collisions with vehicles over the past weekend. The state hasn't had any human fatalities from moose accidents.
Moose are most active at dawn and dusk, when visibility is poor. Their tall height puts much of their body above vehicle headlights, making them harder to see.
In 2016, DEC biologists estimated there are about 400 moose in the Adirondacks. They're also seen periodically in Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties.
The state DEC offers the following tips to prevent moose-vehicle collisions:
- Use extreme caution when driving at dawn or dusk, especially during September and October;
- Reduce your speed, stay alert, and watch the roadsides;
- Slow down when approaching moose standing near the roadside, as they may bolt at the last minute when a car comes closer, often running into the road;
- Moose may travel in pairs or small groups, so if a moose is spotted crossing the road, be alert for others that may follow;
- Make sure all vehicle occupants wear seatbelts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats;
- Use flashers or a headlight signal to warn other drivers when moose are spotted near the road;
- Motorcyclists should be especially alert for moose;
- If a moose does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve.
- Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to hit a fixed object such as a tree or pole; and
- If a moose is hit and killed by a vehicle, the motorist should not remove the animal unless a permit is obtained from the investigating officer at the scene of the accident.