Rob Whittington, shop manager at Hub City Auto Body & Painting on Frederick Street in Hagerstown, MD, said vehicle damage caused by deer strikes accounts for about 50 percent of his business.
“Fall is the busiest season for deer hits,” he said.
Whittington said deer are more active this time of year because they’re mating. Also, hunters are driving the animals out of forests.
Depending on the extent of the damage, he said, deer strikes typically take up to three weeks to fix and can cost about $3,000 on average.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 9,976 deer were killed by vehicles across the state in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available.
Montgomery County led the list with 3,676 kills. Worcester County had the fewest with 21. Washington County’s ranked seventh-highest with 350.
Maryland’s deer population before the 2016--2017 hunting season was estimated at 216,000, up slightly from the 2015--2016 estimate of 214,000.
Ragina Cooper Averella, a spokeswoman for AAA, said peak breeding season occurs from Nov. 10--25, when most deer-vehicle crashes occur.
“A collision with a deer, or other animals, can put a serious dent in a vehicle, if not destroy it completely,” Averella said. “Tragically, the true cost goes far beyond vehicle damage. Each year, motorists are injured, and sometimes killed, in these crashes."
She said motorists also should be on the lookout for black bears, especially in Western Maryland.
Averella said drivers who strike a deer should call their insurance agent and take photos of the deer and the vehicle to document the crash.