Oh, deer! Welcome to Michigan, the land of lakes (not to be confused with the margarine), Motown, and so many deer there coming out of our collective ears. The thing with Michigan whitetail deer is that they don't just hang out in the woods, sipping on acorn cocktails, and discussing grass futures.

Related: Michigan Deer Season: Ranking the 83 Counties for Best Hunting

There are over 2 million deer in the Michigan herd and it seems as if most of them pass their time playing chicken with unsuspecting drivers. Throw in some wet roads, and you're a part of real-life rain deer games with potentially deadly consequences.

Comparing Michigan's Car / Deer Collisions to Car / Hunter Encounters

In 2022 alone, these 4-legged furry future venison sticks were involved in over 58,000 vehicle crashes across Michigan. These accidents aren't just on highways and back roads. Some of Bambi's offspring bring their unique form of revenge within city limits.

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What makes deer so dangerous to motorists in Michigan is that we are on the same schedule. They are most active, typically, from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., which makes our morning and evening commutes a game of Deer Dodgems.


The best advice I've ever been given on how to avoid crashing into a deer was: Where there is one, there are many. Never assume that the deer crossing in front of your high beams is alone. They also like to travel in gangs, and they hate your car.

Related: Michigan Deer Color Blind? Why Can't They See Those Orange Vests?

So, how do motorist deer meetings compare to hunter-deer encounters? Which one has sent more whitetails to meet their maker? And in which of Michigan's 83 counties are you most likely to see a flash of clueless eyes, moments before a furry crash?

Michigan Deer Season: Car v Deer, Which Kill More in Your County?

Between hunters and car-deer collisions, which one is responsible for thinning the herd more in your Michigan county? Using the Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer license sales from all seasons and crash data from MichiganTrafficCrashFacts.org, let's take a county-by-county look as we count down to the one with the most deer-involved crashes and compare that to the amount killed by hunters.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

The Countdown to Michigan's Best Counties for Whitetail Deer

Which Michigan county harvested the most deer last season? We used DNR deer license sales to determine how many does and bucks were taken (all seasons) in each of Michigan's 83 counties. Let's count down to Michigan's #1 County for Whitetail Deer.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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