BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The holiday travel season is picking up, with over half a million Kansans expected to drive over 50 miles to their Thanksgiving destinations next week. 

Other drivers and the weather are not the only concerns to watch out for while driving. Almost 40 percent of single-vehicle crashes in Kansas last year involved a deer.

One man had a close call, and another wasn’t so lucky. Both experiences happened in the past few weeks. For Kevin William, his close call with a deer was on U.S. Highway 54, heading toward Andover from Augusta.

For Jeffrey Beason, he didn’t get as lucky, running into a buck in Butler County on his way to work. 

“Initial reaction is holy smokes, where did that thing come from, and then it’s dealing with the airbags and the aftermath,” said Beason. 

Weeks after the accident, his car is still in the shop. 

“Initial estimates were $25,000, and they haven’t been able to get it on a lift yet because it won’t run,” said Beason. 

Butler County Sheriff Monty Hughey says the county has had 97 deer vs. car wrecks since Oct. 1. That is up from 11 from October through the end of November 2022. He believes they will have way more before the end of the month. 

“Right now is during the rutting season for deer. The times that we see a rise in our accidents are from the evening and early morning until 9-10 o’clock,” said Hughey. 

Hughey says people should not try to avoid a crash at the last second. 

“When you overcorrect, you start rolling a vehicle, and that’s where your major injuries start coming from, is swerving for animals,” said Hughey. 

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office recommends using high beams while driving through rural and wooded areas during dawn and dusk.