According to a study done by State Farm Insurance, car-deer collisions are still on the rise. Between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009, an estimated 2.4 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred! Who says we don’t need hunters?

My home state of Michigan got a shout out as well, as Michigan drivers have the second best chance of being involved in a deer-vehicle collision. The odds of hitting a whitetail in the mitten are 1 in 78.

Michigan also was reported as being second only to Pennsylvania in the total number of deer-vehicle collisions. In 2008, 61,010 of these accidents were reported in the state.

States all over the country, such as West Virginia, are turning to hunters to help control this problem. I think it’s fair to say that we’ll happily oblige.

Here is an excerpt from the ESPN Outdoors article containing more info on the seriousness of car-deer collisions, how hunting can help and how to avoid those pesky deer in the road…

Roadway Run-ins – Colin Moore

“First, the good news: there are more deer roaming the country now than at any time in the nation’s history. The bad news: a lot more of them are getting hit by cars these days, which doesn’t make deer, drivers or insurance companies happy.

According to State Farm Insurance, the country’s largest auto insurer, the number of collisions involving deer and vehicles keeps creeping up. Its latest findings were based on a two-year study period between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009, when an estimated 2.4 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred. That figure represented an increase of more than 18 percent over the previous study period.

On average, there was one collision every 26 seconds, though the vast majority of such accidents took place from November through January, when deer are either preoccupied with mating or just out looking for their next meal.

Pavlov’s dogs would have nailed it down a long time ago: Cross a busy highway and chances are you’re going to get nailed by something big, hard and moving fast. Deer still haven’t figured it out. When it comes to cars and collisions, they’re as hapless as rabbits in headlights or armadillos on a Southern road.

If you don’t want to run the risk of hitting a deer with your truck or automobile, best stay out of West Virginia, where the odds of hitting a deer on the highway are 1 in 39. That figure is based on a formula that incorporates the number of vehicles on the road relative to the number of deer-vehicle collisions.

Hawaii is the place to go if you’re tired of dodging deer; the chance of hitting one in the Aloha state are 1 in 9,931, according to State Farm. You’re more likely to slam into a feral hog in Hawaii, or be swept from the highway by a lava flow from one of its active volcanoes. In the lower 48, Arizona is the safest. There, the chances are only 1 in 1,892.

That West Virginia is the leading state for deer-vehicle collisions shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Except for the paved part, the whole state is a virtual deer park. An estimated 1 million whitetails inhabit the state, or one for every two people. Michigan drivers have the second best chance of being involved in deer-vehicle collisions. There, the odds of hitting a whitetail are 1 in 78.

Michigan also has the distinction of being second only to Pennsylvania in the number of deer-vehicle collisions. In 2008, 61,010 such mishaps were reported in the state, mainly in the heavily populated southern counties.

Pennsylvania ranked No. 1 with more than 105,000 collisions for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008. The Keystone State also ranked third in the likelihood-for-deer-collision standings with a 1-in-94 rating, followed by Iowa and Montana (each at 1 in 104).

Too much of a good thing?

According to State Farm spokesman Dick Luedke, there are about 150 fatalities a year in the U.S. due to deer-vehicle collisions and about 10,000 drivers and/or passengers suffer injuries as a direct result. The average vehicle repair cost amounts to about $3,000.

In a sense, the general increase in the number of deer-vehicle collisions is a reflection of the success of deer management efforts in the country. It also raises a question that more citizens are asking these days in a country where there are between 25 and 30 million deer, and counting: How many deer are too many?

Deer hunting was once a major point of contention among hunters, wildlife managers and animal rights groups, with the rest of the population wavering from side to side. Now the general public, or at least that segment that travels by highway and pays insurance premiums, might be rallying firmly to the side of hunting…

To read the rest of the story click here. Roadway Run-ins by Colin Moore.