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Wednesday, 13 June 2018


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I dislike deer. I call them giant wood rats. They are destructive and cause far too many accidents. I've killed two with my pick-up truck. One was on the way to a shoot before dawn on a rural two-lane road in Western Nebraska. It took out the radiator. Fortunately I had a cell phone signal and after several hours a tow arrived. I was stranded in Alliance, Nebraska for three days waiting for parts. But, at least I was able to rent a car and go do the photo I was after on one of the mornings while I was stranded.

Another time I also saw a photo in the midst of a deer situation. I was on a four-lane road in the right lane. A car ahead of me in the left lane hit a deer when it jumped directly in front of him from the median. The impact launched the deer at least 30 feet into the air. It passed directly over my car as I watched it through the glass sunroof. Now that would have been a photo...

Glad you (and the deer) are ok. Very scary.

Regarding the image of the scene, the Internet has already been there (mostly): https://goo.gl/images/P1SzLp

Glad you are OK Mike. I heard somewhere that deer collisions are the leading cause of U.S. animal-related deaths. Couldn't find the support at the CDC's website, but I can believe it. I had a similar experience to yours about ten years ago. I have to say, my driving skills were on "full auto" as I can't tell you how I knew to swerve right, then left, in the way that I did, only that I avoided any impact and was happy at the time that I had both hands on the wheel. 10-and-12, folks. 10-and-12.

In reference to your leaping Bambi:
Bubba. The tailgate!

Getting to work on New Years day is something railroaders do all too often. So, I found my self on a westbound grain train on New years Day 2017, leaving the home terminal right about 01:00. Rolling along we approached a county road crossing around 03:00. when a pickup raced across the track in front of us when we were about a quarter mile away. Then, after about a hundred feet or so, the truck stops, turns around and starts back toward the tracks. Now, the conductor and I are of course focused on the truck. What is he going to do? I am blowing the whistle over and over and we get to the crossing the same time the truck does. At the last second, I look in front of me and here laying on the crossing planks is a large, dead whitetail buck, antlers and all. WHAM, we hit the deer and hear it reduced to mush under the engine. The conductor is still looking at the truck so the sound of the collision with the deer scares the daylights out of him. It took a while to figure out, but obviously the guy(s) in the truck had been poaching deer with a spotlight, had shot this big deer, put it in the back of the truck and did not raise the tailgate. When they raced over the tracks, the deer bounced out of the truck right in front of us. The poachers got to the crossing just in time to see the deer get hit.
I called Ministry of Natural Resources about it, they thought it kind of funny but wanted to know if we could identify the truck which was not possible due to the darkness. So, the poachers got their year off to a bad start, as did the deer.

Adrenalin is known to be a more effective fixative than hypo and faster-acting than ammonium thiosulfate.

I'm glad everyone survived uninjured.

Well done! Glad you avoided A Straight Story scenario- just watch out for ticks...

Where I’ve lived now for 55 years, there is a lot of remote mountainous terrain and deer. Once one is used to curvy roads with little traffic, the peddle is always closer to the metal than it should be! I tell friends I have never hit a deer yet (true) but I’ve “trimmed a few toenails” :-)

To date I have taken out four deer with my vehicles. I have had several near misses. One thing I have learned, if you have time aim for the deer. It will be gone by the time you get there. BTW, I have a great recipe for something called Bambi Bliss.

Michael Loeb!

Evasive driving classes? Coaching in 4 wheel drift by an F1 driver? Please tell.

Glad it worked out for you. But statistically speaking you should not try to avoid deer, just moderate braking and drive straight. If you drive a truck or SUV in the rare instances when you actually hit a deer there will be damage, but usually not a lot. In a sedan the damage is quite rare and quite minor. I have hit or been hit by many, over a dozen, I've lost count. And the misses must run into the hundreds if not thousands.

Tom Basista is right, they are usually gone by the time you get to the spot, and many people crash trying to avoid the deer.

Be thankful you weren't riding the motorcycle you'd like to have...

If you ride a motorcycle in the country and some other places, you think about deer.

Well...which camera did you have with you?

Quite a few people I know have rolled their vehicles and suffered significant injuries avoiding kangaroos and cattle on Australian dirt roads. Better to hit the brakes as hard as you can (ABS is great), stay straight and reduce speed until it is safe to drive around. And of course reduced speed at dusk and night when animals are active and visibility poor is a key safety factor.

Glad that your driving reflexes kicked in and you are safe, Mike.

I'm reminded of this commercial. Very slightly NSFW.



In the USA, you have deer that you hope not to knock into because they can damage the car.

In Australia, the Aussies have kangaroos that they hope not to knock into because the "roos" are tough as nails and can greatly damage the car. They install "roo bars" as precautions.

Deers or kangaroos, they are merely trotting and hopping around in their ancestral territories according to their directional instincts inbred into them.

Dan K.

[Which in the case of deer align very poorly with our recent priorities, since they tend to freeze when a predator/car approaches, hoping to remain invisible, and then panic and flee at the last minute when the predator/car keeps coming at them anyway. They don't grok roads and cars, and who can blame them? Another few thousand years of evolution and they'll be better prepared to deal with oncoming Acuras, which, despite the occasional Bubba with a doe tag, don't actually want to eat them. --Mike]

This is why people drive Miatas. So they know how to drive!

Well done, Mike! Glad you and the deer are OK.

I was not surprised to see my state near the top on that insurance list. A colleague of mine once hit two within a week. I hit my first this spring, at dusk on an icy road. I'm glad I didn't try to steer around it in those conditions.

It wasn't a new car, but it was new to me. It's a little embarrassing to drop your car off at the body shop with the temporary dealer license still taped to the window.

Even in our city and suburban neighbourhoods in our area, I have to be careful. People who don't know New York state subconsciously think of NYC; they don't realize that most of New York is rural and not especially densely populated.

Often coming home in the evening or late at night, when I cross the arterial street onto my road, I see deer roaming in the street or crossing. I've not had a near miss as close as yours, but it's been startling a couple of times. I've learned to take it easy and not worry about getting into a warm bed.

Living in Australia, kangaroos are always a danger at dusk in the countryside aka 'the bush'. I was out recently on my moto sickle at dusk near Crookwell (which as a name is almost a joke in itself, as crook is Australian slang for feeling il) and was acutely aware of the danger I put myself in by being on a bike in that environment. Luckily, no roo decided to suicide that night but the thought of hitting one at even 60kms is too horrible to contemplate - especially for me. You stand a good chance in a car, but on a bike it would be messy. Eastern greys can get fairly large. Deer are not usually a problem here, although we have most everything else that can kill you. Well done Mike in saving both lives.

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