Northern Minnesota is seeing an uptick in vehicle collisions with deer and moose across the region, prompting a warning from the St. Louis County Sheriff.

In a post on Monday morning, Sheriff Gordon Ramsay explained that the annual uptick in vehicle crashes with deer and moose is underway. In the post, Ramsay shared an example from over the weekend, where a car vs. moose collision occurred on Highway 53 on Saturday night.

In this accident, one of the car's occupants had to be flown from the scene via a medical helicopter in serious condition. Looking at the photos of the car shared from the scene of the accident, it is a vital reminder of how dangerous collisions with large animals like deer and moose can be.

St. Louis County Sheriff Gordon Ramsay
St. Louis County Sheriff Gordon Ramsay

The moose in this collision did not survive.

Specifically with moose (as was the case in this incident from Saturday night), these crashes can be especially dangerous. As noted in a story from earlier this year about another car vs. moose crash in the Northland, the way a moose's body is constructed makes them very dangerous to hit with a vehicle.

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Weighing up to 1,300 pounds, their long legs and height place the majority of the animal's weight higher than the engine compartment of many vehicles, making the first main point of contact a windshield or the roof of the vehicle.

Photo by Sam te Kiefte on Unsplash
Photo by Sam te Kiefte on Unsplash

While moose are deadlier when involved in car collisions, they are less common than deer collisions. While deer are smaller, they still pose a significant risk for injury and damage to your vehicles.

The uptick in collisions in the Northland is part of a cycle seen every year. Spring tends to be a time of year when there are more animal-involved accidents, but fall is the peak time most years. With moose mating season usually spanning from September to October and deer mating season from October into November, these animals are more active and tend to be seen more.

After mating season, we head into winter, when animals may be attracted to areas near roadways due to road salt and other minerals on or near roadways. Plus, during particularly snowy winters, roads or packed-down ditches from snowmobiles make for easier travel for deer and moose when compared to deep snow in the woods.

As we contend with a more active deer and moose population and head into a time of year when roads may become slippery, Sheriff Ramsay and other law enforcement officials encourage the public to avoid speeding and minimize distractions in an effort to cut down your risk of a collision with a deer or moose.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth