View Full Version : Road Kills vs. Harvests

March 8, 2012, 11:45 AM
I spent a good part of the day on the road, which is dangerous. I think about things that many times should be left alone. But, here is a question, 'How many deer are killed on Iowa roads annually, versus how many deer are harvested by hunters in Iowa, same time frame?' Also, how many human injuries are involved with car/deer crashes? We should already have a number on the deer fatalities. This is just something I thought of that could be handy knowledge to have.
Received this question from a friend of mine who in his time off from customer support, hunts and is a landowner. I know there are statistics out there but not sure where you find them or what agency, documents them. Even though this question specifically mentions Iowa, knowing about other states might lead us in the right direction. Any and all assist, would be appreciated. .. ;)

Be Safe !!!

March 8, 2012, 12:06 PM
The insurance industry keeps track of damage claims based on animal strikes. I have seen numbers of road-killed deer 5-10 times the annual deer harvest in some areas. It would be interesting to compare the numbers. I am sure the insurance industry would love to have large wildlife populations reduced in order to lower damage claims.

March 8, 2012, 12:08 PM
Howdy Pahoo,

Here are a few sites that may be of help.

Accidents stats involving deer:




March 8, 2012, 12:29 PM

Deer Harvested by hunters:


Hope this helps.

March 8, 2012, 12:51 PM
Maybe insurance companies should offer 10% discounts for customers who buy deer tags and a 20% to customers who tag a deer.

March 8, 2012, 08:21 PM
Wisconsin DNR keeps the records.


March 8, 2012, 08:39 PM
It's my understanding that here in PA these Deer/Human incidents are how the game commission determines allocations for antler-less and bonus antlered deer tags in a given WMU Wild Life management Unit. By this, allocations are not based on population. In theory if there is plenty of healthy supportive habitat less tags are issued and less deer will be taken, if not the number of tags go up. They use WMU's divided by major roadways and streams/rivers instead of by county. This makes easy boundaries for hunters.

Art Eatman
March 9, 2012, 07:04 AM
I recall an article from some 50 or 60 years ago about Pennsylvania. Hunter kill and road kill were roughly equal, at around 40,000 deer per year.

Suggested reading for amusement with some stories about road kill: "Mama Makes Up Her Mind" by Bailey White. True stories about a rather kooky Southern Lady. Interesting what hard times will put on the table.

Double Naught Spy
March 9, 2012, 11:29 AM

This site has some rankings that might be of interest and some of the vids are interesting.

March 9, 2012, 12:12 PM
That says one million per year in the US. A few years ago I saw a stat from, I believe, State Farm claiming they had that many claims alone. Ohio reporting was at that time based on OSHP numbers, so if the person did not call police or locals responded it wasn't included.

March 9, 2012, 03:44 PM
(statistics pulled from an old post of mine)
Deer tags issued every year: 110,000 (average)
Deer killed by hunters: 22,000-33,000
Number of people in the mountains, all at the same time, chasing after those 22k-33k deer: more than 450,000
Deer killed by vehicles in 2006: 11,000 (estimated)**

Deer dying of old age every year, in the Salt Lake Valley or adjoining canyons, because there is no hunting, or the archery-only areas are incredibly hard to access: more than 3,400 (not counting vehicle kills, poisoning from people feeding them, predation, or anything else - that's just "natural causes")

**(In the year that this number was reported, the state estimated that they only knew of about 12% of the vehicle kills. When you apply that figure to the known kills, you get a result that says 91,000+ deer die to vehicles every year. ....That's really hard to believe, since Utah's herd usually hovers around 165k-195k animals. Somebody needs to check their math again. ;))

March 9, 2012, 08:59 PM
My first USAF mentor was a retired CMSgt who ran the trap/skeet range at Fairchild AFB. He once opined:

Son, ya know the ballistic coefficient of a Chevy bumper is far better than any modern firearm?

Southern NJ had the most road killed deer on the side of the road than anywhere else I've been stationed!

March 10, 2012, 01:02 AM
There are a lot more drivers than hunters.

Art Eatman
March 10, 2012, 08:00 AM
I don't remember now if it were Maryland or New Jersey, but in a highly-Yuppified area there was a successful effort to end deer hunting. Within a couple of years there was an epiphany as to the mistake. Way too many BMWs and Volvos had "negative interactions" with Bambi. Insurance agents became pro-hunting, along with many of the Yuppie clan.

March 10, 2012, 10:33 AM
I don't remember the exact numbers, but several years ago the veh/deer encounters got so bad in the county (don't remember the name) but contains Wichita KS, the county attorney advertized the fact that he would REFUSE to prosicute any poaching charges in an effort to eliminate or cut down on the number of vehicle/deer accidents.

In Alaska its really bad this year, only moose instead of deer. Record heavy snows have forced the moose on to the highways and railroad right of ways.

Not just vehicle accidents but moose predestrian encounters.

I would be willing to bet that more moose are killed (or shot after) being hit by vehicles in the Anchorage/Mat Su area then killed by hunters in the whole state.

I know when I was a cop in Anchorage I had to shoot a heck of a lot of them in my 20 years with the Anchorage Police Department. Also spent a lot of time pulling guard duty at school bus stops because of moose in the area.

18 years ago (as of two days ago) I retired and moved back to Wyoming. There is no way to keep track of the number of deer killed on our highways. I would bet most are not even reported.

Hard to compair numbers, we sell heck of a lot of deer tags, We have more deer then people in this state.

March 11, 2012, 08:51 AM
So far, the count has been 2. One to a Chevy and one to a Ford. Sure ticks me off that you cant keep them. Afterall, you pay for it at the repair shop.

March 11, 2012, 11:00 AM
Sure ticks me off that you cant keep them.

Must be a state-to-state thing.

Here in Ohio you can keep them if you wish. Far as that goes, many LE agency's here in Ohio have lists of people they will call that have made arrangements saying they will come pick up deer killed in accidents if the vehicle owner doesn't want the deer.

LEO just writes you a form to make it legal. Saves the taxpayers $'s from having to have a gov't employee deal with the carcass.

March 11, 2012, 11:15 AM
Sure ticks me off that you cant keep them. Afterall, you pay for it at the repair shop.
Is that right? This really surprises me, especially you being from Alabama. In Iowa, we pretty much go as shortwave, has listed for Ohio. I fact, I'll bet most Midwest go this way as well .... ;)
in most cases, they are only good for summer sausage .... :mad:

Be Safe !!!

March 11, 2012, 01:55 PM
There is no real way to tell. In the winter when the leaves are down you see deer being picked over by crows. The deer were hit and made it off the road pretty far. I have never hit one, but have had 2 hit me. They ran into the side of my truck, bounced off, got up and took off. No real way to tell how many were killed or made it in my opinion. In Pa. nobody but the Insurance companies care. A couple years back a road crew paved over half a deer laying on the road and some reporter saw it and it hit the papers. That started some crap. Investigations, firings, all kinds of stuff. You can pick them up legally if you report it. The Game Commission keeps a record so you can't pass a poached deer off as a roadkill. Other than that, I don't think they care either.

March 11, 2012, 02:19 PM
Know a guy who is on all the road kill deer lists. The meat isn't very good. Sometimes it isn't all that great even in Summer sausage.

March 11, 2012, 03:32 PM
Jeeze I know that in the Kansas City Metro area we kill alot of deer with the buick, probably as much as with the 3030. Ithink St. Louis has alot of deer vs. car problems and Missouri Department of Conservation has taken steps to change our seasons and add Urban seasons to the yearly harvest plan to counteract the problem. Just a sidenote, There was a dead deer,(car related fatality) right up on one of our main roads here in Independence just last week.:eek:

March 12, 2012, 04:23 AM
The meat isn't very good.

That just depends. Many years ago when I lived in town, I too was on a list and dated one of the local LE dispatchers of a suburban area. During the start of the first pre-rut throughout post rut, with a deer, over-populated park in the vicinity, I got a call on average every other night. She worked night and would call me ASAP as she knew I didn't want a deer that laid very long.

Needless to say, my freezers stayed full as well as everyone I knew that wanted deer. Had to keep my knives sharp. ;)

I didn't have to take the deer if it was badly torn up. Many would still be alive, some not. I'd dispatch those alive and inspect the bodies to see what was broken up. Some would have their necks broken and the rest of the body untouched. So you could make use of most of the meat. Many would have one side beat up which would translate into taking the meat from the other side. One thing I did notice, I could usually get both backstraps. :D

If the bodies were really torn up externally or badly broken up inside to the point I didn't feel I could make use of much decent meat, I'd just deny getting the deer. Too, knowing most of the deputies, they would inspect the deer and usually knew whether I'd would want it or not.

Too, I wouldn't take any deer during the summer months. Just Fall through Spring. But always had plenty of venison all year long.:D

March 13, 2012, 12:00 AM
Know a guy who is on all the road kill deer lists. The meat isn't very good. Sometimes it isn't all that great even in Summer sausage.

When I lived in Florida, one of my friends used the highway as almost the only source of animal protein for his family. He would pick up pretty much anything, from Deer to Opossum, to Raccoon, to Dog, to Snakes.

It all tasted good, if it was prepared correctly.
The same rules apply to roadkill, as they do to other meat: If it's bad meat, it's bad meat. Putting it in a summer sausage won't magically turn it into meat that didn't spoil. If it's trash, it's trash. The source doesn't matter.
But if it hasn't spoiled, it's free venison, that will taste just as good as any other. (plus, it's pre-tenderized ;))

March 13, 2012, 12:39 AM
There are a lot more drivers than hunters.

And their season never ends- every day that ends in "d-a-y" and sunup to sunup.

Hunter Customs
March 13, 2012, 09:07 AM
I don't know what the actual count is of deer killed on MIssouri highways. However in my part of the state the rightaways and mediums of major highways is littered with rotting carcasses of deer killed by vechicles.

During deer season and harvest season is the worst as the deer are being moved around more.

During the 2011 rifle portion of deer season between St Joseph MO and Mound City MO which is a distance of 42 miles I counted 38 dead deer along I-29.
Of course they were left there to bloat up, burst open and rot away.

In my opinion the MDC (Missouri Department of Conservation) should be responsible for removing all the deer killed along Missouri major highways. After all they are the department that reaps the monetary benifit from the deer and they have the resources to do so.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter

March 13, 2012, 02:49 PM
FrankenMauser, I remember when I was living in Utah we used to judge how bad the winter was by the number of dead deer per mile we saw on the road. There were times when it was an exercise in futility to attempt to count the dead deer on the side of the road going up Provo Canyon.

I killed my first deer in Provo Canyon. I was poor student and didn't even own a deer rifle - having only brought a shotgun with me. My landlord loaned me his 1917 Enfield and a half box of Remington ammo.

March 13, 2012, 10:37 PM
I pick one up if I see it hit or someone calls me quick after seeing one hit. I am with the other guy, only take the good ones. A lot are just stepping out and the headlight cracks there head or breaks their neck and throws them back off the road. Most of the ones I have picked up are in better shape than a lot of deer I have seen shot with a gun.

March 14, 2012, 01:46 AM
FrankenMauser, I remember when I was living in Utah we used to judge how bad the winter was by the number of dead deer per mile we saw on the road. There were times when it was an exercise in futility to attempt to count the dead deer on the side of the road going up Provo Canyon.

Yep. About one day a week, my wife's first words after a long shift will be something like "Wow, there were 13 deer today" (referring to road-killed deer in an area along the Jordan River, on her way home).

We get about 3 times as many kills in the good years, as the bad.

Art Eatman
March 14, 2012, 11:08 AM
Texas had a drouth in the mid-90s. On a trip to Austin, in the stretch between Fort Stockton and Fredericksburg (I-10/US 290) Fran and I counted 120-some roadkill deer and one cougar.

Even a sprinkle of rain has some runoff from the pavement to the borrow ditch, so there are more growies in the ditch than in the pasture behind the fence. So, more bugs, more little critters--and more deer.

March 17, 2012, 04:55 PM
Around here the big crash season is coming-snow just melted off. Grass will green up along roads.

However, there are many less deer than in the 70s. Many hunters blame the insurance companies. People that feed em cause the problem to be increased.

On our small road fron Aug 1 to middle Oct there were 5 killed within 1/2 mi-that was late 80s. New neighbor has to feed everything. Five drivers got $2000 gift from her.