MERRIAM, Kan. — Bucks are in the rut season, and with hunters out, deer will be on the move.

Beyond safety, you need to watch out for your wallet’s sake. Deer collision repairs are costing Kansas and Missouri drivers more than ever before.

You’ve probably noticed more deer out on the roads and highways lately. It’s that time of year again. November is peak breeding season for deer.

Body shops are also seeing an increase in numbers when it comes to deer-related damages.

“We have seen quite a few already,” Merriam Body Shop manager and collision technician Jeff Bard said. “I have seen quite a few just driving around.”

Just this week, Merriam Body Shop took in two cars that were hit by deer.

“The major impact was on the left fender and then the deer just rolled down it,” Bard said.

He said they see an uptick in deer collision repairs this time of year and expect a big jump in the next couple weeks.

That makes sense. The clocks change this Sunday, and for a week after drivers are 16% more likely to hit a deer, according to a recent report.

Last year, six people were killed and 620 were injured in deer crashed in Kansas. In Missouri, three people died and 420 were injured.

“Slow down as much as you can, but right before impact take your foot off the break,” AAA spokesperson Nick Chabarria said. “For the fact that we know that when you’re slamming on the breaks that your front end is going to dip forward and that could cause the deer to roll up on your hood and into the windshield.”

Chabarria said not only is safety a concern, but vehicle repairs will cost Missouri drivers more than ever before.

The average deer collision repair is just above $6,400 — a nearly 30% increase from last year.

“We know that parts and labor are more expensive now,” Chabarria said. “There are still some parts supply shortages.”

Despite some lingering supply chain issues, Bard said Marriam Body Shop will have your vehicle looking brand new in no time.

“Like it came off the factory line, if not better,” Bard said.

Chabarria also said to keep in mind, under most auto policies, collision coverage alone does not cover animal-related collisions.

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