Be extra cautious when driving right now because this time of year is when you're most likely to hit a deer.

Hitting a deer with a car is, unfortunately, dangerous but also very common. And now, it's even more common. Deer activity in the Hudson Valley is at its annual high right now. This time of year is known as the "rut". According to Wikipedia, the Rut is the mating season for white-tailed deer. This means bucks are more active as they seek out does, and are less cautious.

The rut can start as early as September and can last through winter months, according to Wikipedia. The peak is in the middle of these months, and the average peak day is November 13. At the time this article was written, it is November 9, just a few days away from the national average peak. According to Field and Stream, the best day of the rut this year, in terms of hunting, will be November 17.

During the rut, bucks are more active than ever. They'll spar with other bucks, which is pushing and shoving. They will also fight other bucks to show their dominance to get does. Bucks will also rub his antlers on trees and scrape the ground with his hooves to mark his territory, according to Wikipedia. In addition to fighting other bucks, bucks will simply chase after does to mate with them. A buck can lose as much as 20% body weight because of the energy expended fighting and chasing.

So how does this affect drivers? As deer are more active and less cautious, they're bound to run across roads more. If they're chasing a doe across the road, they're not focused on the impending threat of traffic. They're focused on mating. So be extra cautious this time of year when driving. Stay alert, and drive slow in areas you know have a large deer population.