Vermont's Fish & Wildlife Department is warning drivers that moose are on the move.
The big animals are more likely to be crossing roadways this time of year, the department said, because it is their breeding season.
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Late September through the first two weeks of October are when roadway sightings and crashes peak, said Mark Scott of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
Scott urged drivers to keep their speeds down, stay alert, and pay attention to "moose crossing" signs. A big reason for concern, Scott explained, is that moose are so dark in color, they can be difficult to see, even with headlights.
"What I tell people is, the minute you think you see an animal on Vermont's highways, slow down," Scott told necn. "If you start to wait until you get close enough to figure out what it is, it might be too late to do that."
According to data from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 19 people have died in the state in the past 20 years in crashes with moose.
Last October, 22-year-old Brandon Preedom of Waterbury died after crashing into an approximately 800-pound bull moose in Bolton.
"Seeing a moose is one of the most treasured wildlife memories for many Vermonters; an experience they will take with them the rest of their lives," Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter said in a news release. "We want you to enjoy seeing them from a distance. But keep in mind that moose are very active this time of year, and they will be crossing highways more often."
Moose are most active early in the morning and after dark, which compounds the hazard of the animals' dark color, the department said.
According to Vermont wildlife officials, the following sections of state road are hotspots for moose crossings:
• Rt.105 from Island Pond to Bloomfield
• Rt.114 from East Burke to Canaan
• Rt.2 from Lunenberg to East St. Johnsbury
• Interstate 91 at Sheffield Heights
• Interstate 89 from Bolton to Montpelier
• Rt. 12 from Worcester to Elmore
• Rt 118 near Belvidere Corners and the Rt. 109 intersection
However, Scott noted that moose could be crossing any roadway in the state, not just the sections listed above.