MADISON, WI (AP) -

Wisconsin state officials are warning that the threat of car-deer crashes is high again this year.

The state Department of Transportation says along with the deer mating season in October and November comes a higher risk of them darting out in front of vehicles.

Last year, Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported nearly 18,900 deer-car crashes. Dane County had the most with 851, followed by Shawano County with 800.

DOT official David Pabst says to avoid hitting a deer, drivers must slow down whenever they see deer in the area. He says if hitting a deer can't be avoided, it's safer to hit the brakes and hit the deer rather than swerve suddenly to miss it. That can lead to losing control of the vehicle, rolling over, or hitting another object.