Deer in the Headlights

A gentle reminder to those who, like me, live in woodsy or rural areas—deer are on the move this time of year, especially during the twilight hours. Here’s what the family sedan looks like after close contact with one of Bambi’s cousins at about 40 mph:

CAM01027

My Lovely Wife and I were on our way home from a nice dinner in town last night at about 7 pm, and dusk was quickly fading into night. I was driving, had just merged onto four-lane Kansas Highway 7, and was accelerating as two deer bolted in front of the car. I presume they’d been browsing in the median, but all I saw was a windshield full of gray-brown fur. There was no time for either them or me to take evasive action, and we struck Deer #2 pretty much square-on, catapulting him/her over the car and somewhere into the darkness behind us.

Thanks to the grace of God, our relatively slow speed, and the medium-small size of the deer, we escaped uninjured and without a lap full of venison or an airbag deployment. This might have been a very different story at 60 mph versus a full-grown buck. I managed to pull the car to the side of the road clear of traffic, and my wife dialed 911 to report the accident. A pair of very professional young officers from the Shawnee Police Department arrived in a few minutes to help us sort things out. The engine was undamaged, and the car was drivable enough to get us the last few miles home.

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2 thoughts on “Deer in the Headlights

  1. That’s a shame! There’s a reason why they’re called brown lightning: one never sees them until they flash across one’s headlights. I’ll have to remind myself to look out for deer, as there are plenty of them around where I live too.

    My father tells me that he once managed to avoid hitting a buck only to have this same deer ram his rear bumper. xD I think that deer nowadays have lost their fear of man, and that makes accidents with them more common.

  2. The deer in this area are very acclimated to human activity. The spot where we had our accident is close to a couple of parks with large reservoirs, and there’s a network of greenway trails that connect the parks and provide natural corridors for the deer to range nearly the entire county. I’ve seen more deer out in the open this year than rabbits or other woodland creatures, and far too many dead at the roadside.

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