TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are warning motorists to watch out for deer as breeding season approaches.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said in a news release that deer-vehicle crashes are the highest during breeding season, which peaks in mid-November.

The increase is partially the result of deer being more active and paying less attention to hazards such as vehicles. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism biologist Lloyd Fox says fall also is the time when many deer move to new locations as crops are harvested.

Kansas Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Swartz says nearly 8,700 traffic crashes in 2012 involved deer. The crashes left two people dead and 322 were injured.

Experts say motorists should be particularly cautious at dawn and dusk when deer are more likely to be on the move.