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South Dakota Drivers Third Most Likely to Hit Deer

Captain Obvious takes a turn writing headlines for KELO: "KELOLand Drivers Likely to Strike Deer." My neighbors with venison on their grilles all groan in unison, "No kidding!"

But the numbers from State Farm Insurance are interesting:

Vehicular Collisions with Deer by state, July 1, 2010--June 30, 2011
click image to enlarge, or see original PDF from State Farm Insurance at

South Dakota drivers have the third highest rate of close encounters of the antlered kind in the nation. Your odds of hitting a deer on a South Dakota highway are 1 in 81. For comparison, your odds of being dealt a three of a kind in poker are 1 in 46; the odds for a straight are 1 in 254. In South Dakota, you have a better chance of hitting a deer with your car than you do of winning $4 in Powerball.

Your chances of hitting a deer will only get higher for the next few weeks. The peak month for deer collisions is November, when deer migrate and mate (yes, sex makes all God's creatures stupid). The second most dangerous month is October, then December.

I'd like to think I'm safe here in town, but we see deer roaming the parks and streets of Spearfish all the time. Stay tuned for the "Bike-Deer Collision in Spearfish" headline!


  1. Shane Gerlach 2011.10.13

    Absolutely ridiculous down here around Yankton. This time of year our paper is full of daily accidents with vehicle and deer. With the 2 rivers, 2 lakes and a plethora of fields being cleared they just run and run. I worry every day for my wife and her 26 miles to Vermillion and 26 miles back.

  2. Stan Gibilisco 2011.10.13

    They's lotsa deer up in these here hills.

    One hot day a few years ago, I strode up my driveway on the way back from the Lead Rec Center. A buck deer bolted out of the wood shed, almost running into me. He'd sought shelter from the sun, I guess. If I'd have been driving, I'd have struck (and probably maimed) that deer right in my own garage.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.10.14

    Keep those deer up in Lead! We've got too many running around here in Spearfish!

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