ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A man was struck and killed early Monday morning in south St. Louis County after exiting his vehicle to move a deer that had been struck by another driver.

It’s rutting season at the moment—the time of year when deer are active early in the morning, at daybreak and at dusk.

According to the Lakeshire and St. Louis County police departments, a deer was struck between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. along the southbound lanes of Tesson Ferry near Wolff Drive.

A driver was struck after exiting his vehicle in the northbound lanes to move the deer.

“Right now is the mating season for deer and a lot of other animals,” said Corporal Dallas Thompson, Missouri State Highway Patrol. “We are seeing a huge increase on deer strikes on our roadways, so we are seeing a lot of dead animal carcasses on the shoulders of the roadway, and sometimes they are out in the traffic lane.”

Lakeshire Police Chief Tim Sullivan said the deceased man was identified as Robert Jones. He was 58. The driver who struck Jones remained at the scene.

The highway patrol is encouraging drivers, if they see a dead animal or object blocking traffic, to let law enforcement handle objects in the roadway.

“Anytime that you see debris on the roadway or an animal that’s been struck that is still laying in the roadway, don’t try and pull over or stop and move that yourself,” Thompson said. “You can call *55. That will get you to the nearest highway patrol headquarters. You can contact MoDOT directly at that 800-number and then they can get the proper vehicles out there with the proper emergency lighting to get people to know that traffic needs to slow down and stop. And then the people that’s going to be removing that has the proper reflective clothing on, so people can see them out in the roadway.”

That MoDOT number for emergency concerns, especially flashing signals or dark or downed stop signs, is 888-275-6636.