From the New York Times
Drivers’ Odds of Hitting a Deer
No wild prey is more coveted in the United States than deer. In 2001, 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 16 shouldered a gun or bow in pursuit of venison and spent nearly $11 billion doing so, according to one federal study.
There certainly are plenty of deer. Wildlife experts estimate 32 million white-tails — by far the country’s dominant species of deer — roam America’s woods, fields and backyards. Last year, hunters killed 6.6 million of them.
After being decimated by overhunting at the end of the 19th century — estimates put the population then at 300,000 to 500,000 animals, down from 20 million or more when the Europeans arrived — the white-tail has returned with a vengeance, thanks in part to intensive restoration efforts.
Ask the insurance companies. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates there are about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year. Some states allow residents to take roadkill for the meat, though not many take advantage. In Pennsylvania, with an estimated 98,000 collisions annually over the last five years, perhaps 150 people pick up a dead deer each year.
And as gardeners can attest, those deer can eat, consuming about a ton of forage each year. You can do the math.