LINCOLN COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s most recent report said there are about 3,000 car accidents related to deer collisions, per year.

Lincoln County residents said too many car accidents are occurring because there are too many dear.

The issue with overpopulation comes down to hunting, and Lincoln County residents are trying to see what can change with the hunting laws to curb deer overpopulation.

Jennie McWhorter, a Lincoln County resident, was in a car wreck recently when what she believes was a doe, jumped right out in front of her vehicle on Highway 27.


“It hit square in the front, airbags came out and it went under the car, we went over it and the hood came up,” McWhorter said.

The collision totaled her brand-new Ford Edge. Then, McWhorter heard she wasn’t alone.

“The next morning, we heard a friend of ours hit a deer in the very same stretch,” McWhorter said. “We’ve heard several people talking about hitting dear in the last few weeks.

The frequency of dee-related car wrecks peaked McWhorter’s interest, so she looked up the most recent ‘Deer Harvest and Population’ report by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife.

“Deer permits are down in the state currently,” McWhorter said. “Also, we’re in a zone where additional hunting permits are not allowed. So, between those two things, I think we’re experiencing an overpopulation of deer.”

The 2021-2022 report showed the number of deer permits was down by almost 5,000.

Thomas Fry, another Lincoln County resident, said he hit three deer in one week.

Fry is very familiar with the hunting culture in the area and said the deer overpopulation comes down to two hunting trends.

“If you’re hunting deer, you gotta have landowners’ permission,” Fry said. “Most landowners won’t let you hunt because they’re afraid they’re going to get sued.”

The second trend has to do with hunters’ preferences.


“They don’t want to kill a doe, they want a buck,” Fry said. “Mostly does are getting hit. The state knows that. They can tell their losing more does by car than they are by a gun.”

Lincoln County is classified as ‘Zone 2’ and allows a hunter up to four deer, one of them having antlers.

Fry suggests there should be more opportunities for hunters to get the doe population under control.

“I think they should offer like a free hunt a week,” Fry said. “Give hunters a week where they don’t have to buy the deer license. As long as they have a hunting license, they should be able to kill deer. Free hunting for does.”

Both McWhorter and Fry also believe managing the overpopulation of deer would be in the best interest of Kentuckian’s crops and insurance policies.

“If it’s not a total loss, there’s no chance for them (insurance companies) to recoup any of that money,” McWhorter said. “They will have to pass that loss onto the consumers and increase premiums.”

Fry said, “The state should have to cover damages that a deer does. You would think when they charge you for deer license, they have some kind of coverage if a deer does damage, but it’s all on you.”

Kevin Kelly, chief communications officer with The Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Department said if Lincoln County residents want to change zones, for instance to a Zone 1 where hunting is unlimited for antlerless deer, then the residents can go to the 6th district biologist and commissioner with a proposal. From there, they will take a comprehensive look at what can be done to reduce the population of deer.