LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Department of Public Safety said on Thursday that West Texans are entering a risky time of year when the department usually sees an increase in deer strikes on the roadway, and officials offered tips for staying safe.

“Dawn and dusk is typically when the animals are moving and looking for something to eat,” said Sergeant Johnny Bures with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “A lot of times, they are kind of grazing along the highway, so, that’s where we see a lot more of our crashes during that time.”

For reasons unknown, DPS said deer strikes tend to happen more during the fall and winter months.

“If you’re looking out for ‘em, you might catch them with your headlights, and you’ll see their eye. That’s the time to start slowing down,” Sgt. Bures began. “Just be prepared that they may try and jump across the roadway.”

He said people can try to flash their high beams or honk to spook the deer back into the woods, but sometimes, the deer will still end up being hit.

“First things first: pull off the side of the roadway. Turn your hazards on so that people can see that there is a hazardous vehicle on the side of the roadway.”

Sgt. Bures suggested notifying law enforcement as well.

“Just say ‘hey, look, this is where I’m at.’ Know your location and report that, and see if they need to send an officer out. If it’s a minor crash, they may not send an officer out. They may tell you how to get what’s called a ‘blue form’ here in Texas.”

The blue form is a written record of the incident that can be sent to insurance companies, DPS explained.

Lastly, Sgt. Bures recommended, stay away from the wounded animal.