Iowa motorists less likely to hit deer

New data shows drivers in Iowa have been some of the most likely in the nation to strike a deer, but that likelihood has dropped.

State Farm Insurance said in rankings released Monday that Iowa ranks No. 3 behind West Virginia and Montana.

The Iowa chances have dropped to a 1-in-73 chance of a collision within the next year. That's down from the 1-in-67 odds last year.

Iowa Natural Resources Department spokesman Kevin Baskins says the reduction reflects a decline in the state deer population.

The department says that in 2004, Iowa had an estimated 600,000 deer. That's now dropped to an estimated 350,000.

State Farm's projections are based on licensed driver counts from the federal government and State Farm's claims data.