Deer Crashes Dropping in Mid-Michigan

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LANSING (WILX)-- You're more likely to hit a deer in October or November than any other month, but the chance of getting in that kind of accident is lower than it used to be. The odds of crashing into deer in mid-Michigan next year have declined by 4.3 percent; according to State Farm Insurance.

One of the big reasons is because doe hunting has become increasingly common. Less female deer means less breeding, and a smaller deer population. In lower Michigan it's dropped more than 20 percent in the past decade.

"What we're doing is targeting more antler-less deer and changing the way we hunt, and the times we hunt. All that combined has stabilized the deer population," said Amy trotter with the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

Fewer deer should mean fewer car crashes, and that's exactly what insurance companies are starting to see.

"The state statistics do show that there's been a decrease in the number of deer crashes. We're seeing it state wide and also in mid-Michigan, which is a good thing," said Lori Conarton with the Insurance Institute of Michigan.

State Farm Insurance predicts that over the next twelve months Michigan drivers will have a 1 in 174 chance of hitting a deer, compared with 1 in 167 in 2012.

The odds might be better, but there's still an average of 134 deer crashes per day in Michigan says Conarton. In 2012 there was more than 49,000 reported deer/car crashes . Of the crashes last year there were eight deaths and more than 1,300 people injured.

"We don't want people to become complacent and think since crashes are down they don't have to worry about that anymore. There's still a lot of deer out there," said Conarton.

Despite the drop, Ingham, Eaton, and Jackson Counties are each in the top ten when it comes to the number of deer/car crashes. Each county had more than a thousand crashes last year.
Conarton says the reason why these counties are seeing more crashes than northern ones is because of the deer-city ratio.

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