The Waldo County Sheriff's Office has responded to nearly 80 crashes over a one month period.

Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff's Office said deputies have responded to a total of 79 crashes between Oct. 20 and Nov. 21. Of those crashes, 14 were personal injury accidents; 22 were property damage accidents; and 43 involved car-deer crashes, Trafton said.

Trafton said the department tracks car-deer crashes separately from personal injury and property damage crashes because the Maine Warden Service requests the number of crashes involving deer. He said the Maine Warden Service used to respond to all car-deer crashes but the department was unable to keep up with increasing frequency of the crashes.

In one instance Saturday morning, Nov. 23, an Oregon woman who swerved to avoid hitting a deer on Swan Lake Avenue in Monroe. The driver managed to miss the animal but struck two mailboxes after the avoidance maneuver sent her off the road and into the ditch. The driver was not hurt.

In Searsport, Police Chief Dick LaHaye said his department is also seeing an increase in the car-deer crashes, particularly along the Route 1 corridor. On one occasion over the last week, LaHaye said officers there responded to the report of a deer that had been hit by a car on Route 1 near Moose Point State Park. By the time police arrived, it appeared the same animal had been hit "six or seven times."

The large number of car-deer crashes prompted police to warn drivers to be cautious when they are driving. Police recommended drivers be on the lookout for animals crossing the road, and to be prepared to stop in case more than one animal is attempting to cross.

Republican Journal reporter Tanya Mitchell contributed reporting to this story.