Oregon deer are starting their seasonal migration, which means you can expect more of them to appear on roadways. October and November mark the height of roadkill season in Oregon, which boasts a higher rate of vehicle-animal collisions than any other West Coast state. Insurance agencies also reported that these crashes average about $4,135.
Some areas, like the spot where Hwy 20 hits Hwy 97, are especially prone to these collisions, which are expected to become more common as urban development encroaches on wildlife habitats. The Oregon Department of Transportation has installed three underpasses along Hwy 97 over the past 30 years, which has lowered the number of collisions by up to 95%. The DMV is also planning on releasing a specialty plate in order to fund more of these underpasses.
Deer and elk are the most common animals hit. In 2020 alone, 5,573 of the 5,997 animals hit were deer; 293 of them were elk. As of 2019, Oregonians can take roadkill for food, although it’s illegal to intentionally hit an animal with your car so you can eat it.