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MDC says Missouri drivers are among the most likely in the nation to collide with wildlife

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation says the upcoming fall months mean drivers are more likely to collide with wildlife.

“Due to increased wild animal movement in the fall, it is not uncommon to see more dead deer and other wildlife along the nearly 34,000 miles of state roads,” The Department said. “The Missouri Department of Transportation reminds motorists that there are several options that can be taken when a deer/vehicle collision results in the death of the animal.”

According to Missouri law, an individual who has struck and killed a deer with their vehicle may claim the deer carcass if written authorization to possess the deer is granted by a Missouri Department of Conservation agent.

Officials say the Wildlife Dispensation permit is free, but Missouri residents must contact the Missouri Department of Conservation to obtain the permit.

State Farm Insurance says that the Show-Me State now ranks 14th in the country for potential animal collisions.

The data indicate that Missouri drivers have a 1 in 74 chance of hitting an animal on the road.

“Fall is breeding season and deer are on the move, especially in the dark as days grow shorter,” said Natalie Roark, state maintenance director. “Although deer strikes can occur at any time, the majority of these crashes occur in the twilight hours before sunrise and just after sunset in October and November, with the largest number taking place in November.”

According to 2021 statistics from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, drivers in Missouri experienced 3,779 traffic crashes where deer-vehicle strikes occurred.

In these crashes, there were three fatalities and 420 people were injured.

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