If you love when deer dart out in front of your vehicle, then we've reached your favorite part of the year.

You may have already seen the digital signs along the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike, warning you to watch closely for deer from dusk until dawn. They're active once again, and they have no fear dashing right into traffic and causing a nightmare for motorists.

According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, crews picked up 6,525 deer carcasses in 2016 — over 400 more than the year prior. Note that number only includes roads maintained by the state; counties and municipalities have their own pickup systems in place.

Deer pickups by county, 2016 (NJDOT):

  • Atlantic — 41
  • Bergen — 308
  • Burlington — 153
  • Camden — 83
  • Cape May — 2
  • Cumberland — 27
  • Essex — 69
  • Gloucester — 79
  • Hudson — 1
  • Hunterdon — 933
  • Mercer — 566
  • Middlesex — 479
  • Monmouth — 999
  • Morris — 686
  • Ocean — 249
  • Passaic — 120
  • Salem — 38
  • Somerset — 810
  • Sussex — 374
  • Union — 69
  • Warren — 439

"They have to be handled in a certain way, so our crews are trained to handle the pickup and disposal of them," DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro told New Jersey 101.5.

The department utilizes disposal sites in Monmouth County, Morris County and Warren County to get rid of the deer after pickup, Schapiro said.

If you spot a deer carcass on the side of a state-run road — one that's not yet marked for pickup — you can report it using the DOT's maintenance reporting form, or by calling 1-800-POTHOLE.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.