I live in a region of the country where deer are quite prolific. I see deer crossing the road in front of me about every 750 miles, and have a close call every 5,000 miles. This year, I had one encounter where I could have grabbed it's tail. For me, deer are, by far, the most dangerous part of my ride. 25 years ago, I would have one close call every 10 years. Some populations studies seem to support my observation.
State Farm Insurance just released their annual study of vehicle impacts, and which states are most dangerous. You can read that report here.
I find State Farm's report flawed. I live in New York, and my state rates #23 by the number of licensed drivers. But, most licensed drivers live in five major cities (NYC, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo) where there are very few deer. Get outside these cities, and your chances of a deer impact climb dramatically. New York State Dept of Environment Conversation uses the report to regulate and justify the amount of deer. I find New York's deer management plan highly flawed. What is your experience in other parts of the country?
Cornell University Cooperative Extension has produced a very informative publication about the risk of deer impacts and how they can be reduced. You can read it here
This publication has some good suggestions and observations. Over the years I have developed my own deer avoidance procedure while riding. What do you do to avoid deer impacts?
I bring this up now because November is the month where there is the highest probability of a deer impact.
Mods: Since we don't have a Rider Safety Forum, this seemed like the best place for it. Please move the post if you believe there is a better forum.