Collisions between automobiles and deer are on the decline in Indiana in a trend that may be due to changes in hunting rules and motorists' growing awareness of the risks of such collisions.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute says Indiana had 15,205 deer-related collisions in 2011. That's down from just under 16,000 collisions in 2010 and more than 16,800 in 2009.
State Farm Insurance spokeswoman Missy Dundov said the public's greater awareness of the risks of car-deer collisions could be part of the reason for the drop.
The state Department of Natural Resources says another factor could be hunting rule changes that took effect in 2010. Those changes allow hunters in some urban areas to begin hunting a few weeks before hunting season officially begins.