Rifle deer hunting kicks off November 18 in Tennessee - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Rifle deer hunting kicks off November 18 in Tennessee

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

You are more likely to hit a deer with your car in November than in any other month. About 1,600 crashes on Tennessee roadways involve a deer this time of year. Recent mild winters in the Tennessee Valley may be one reason why crashes aren't as high this month, and why hunting numbers are down.

According to TWRA, the number of deer killed by hunters is down. Four years ago hunters tagged 168,000. Two years ago there were nearly 165,000 tagged, and last year 163,000 were tagged.

Rick Padgett's Body Shop usually sees more work by mid-November due to collisions involving deer too.

Padgett says, "In excess of 20-25 vehicles." That's usually the number of accidents they see during this month, but so far they've only had three. 

This could be due to mast crops like acorns, fruits and berries. Deer and even bears may be foraging less because last year's mild winter left more food and more time to eat.

Less foraging means less opportunity for hunters. It also means fewer accidents for some.

Padgett says it's still important to be alert on the roadways.

"There was actually one just up the street, about a week ago that was coming right across 27," adds Padgett.

Bumper mounted deer whistles can help avoid a collision, but Padgett says if you see a deer on the road, the best thing you can do is honk your horn and keep driving. Swerving can lead to a more serious crash.

Rifle season for deer hunting begins November 18th statewide. The season will end January 7th 2018 for Hamilton and Bradley counties.

Have a weather-related story? Feel free to email Meteorologist Brittany Beggs.

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