ST. CLOUD (AP) - Minnesota officials are encouraging motorists to look out for deer because now is the time of year when they are most active.

Stearns County Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold says deer cause accidents year-round, but fall brings a significantly increased chance of being hit. He says harvest and hunting activities, especially in rural areas, scare deer and push them out of their normal habitat.

Mating season, which begins in fall, also plays a role. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says white-tailed deer mate from November to early December.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says thousands of people experience deer-car collisions in the state each year. There were nearly 2,100 crashes statewide last year. Sherburne County saw more than any other county, with 178 crashes.