By Ren Clayton

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Most Minnesotans have at least one story about hitting or almost hitting a deer while driving.

There are more deer car collisions in November than any other month.

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In the past five years, there have been over 6,200 deer-related crashes in Minnesota, though an estimated two-thirds go unreported.

Credit: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

“We still see deaths unfortunately from deer crashes. We’ve seen 18 in the last five years from deer crashes and 15 of those have been motorcyclists,” said Gordon Shank, Public Information Officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.

The ‘Don’t Veer for Deer’ slogan still rings true. State Patrol says to brake as much as you can, but don’t swerve when approaching a deer.

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“We always tell people look for the silhouettes of the deer,” said Shank. “Look for the eyes as they reflect off of light. They’re normally the most busy between six and nine. It’s not just a rural Minnesota thing. We see them in the metro as well.”

If you do hit a deer you can always call 911. Eventually, insurance will be a consideration.

“If you have collision coverage, then all you have to pay is your deductible and insurance covers the rest,” said Mark Fulda, the vice president of public affairs for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota. Our state is a top-10 state for car-deer crashes.

“Car-deer collision claims are a pretty expensive proposition in Minnesota,” said Fulda. “We estimate that we pay about $25 million a year in claims.”

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Ren Clayton