Oh, Deer!

Living in the Midwest it was bound to happen sometime and tonight was that sometime.  I hit my first deer… or rather, a deer hit me!

I was on a stretch of country highway where I’ve seen deer before so I was watching for them and wasn’t speeding.  All of a sudden a big doe came up out of the opposite ditch and right into the road.

There was enough distance between the deer and me to get slowed down to 20-30 mph but she made contact right on the driver side door.  It made quite a thud but didn’t set off the air bag.

I pulled over and caught my breath.  In the dark from the inside there didn’t appear to be any damage.  The door opened just fine and I got out to see how things looked from the outside.

At first I didn’t see anything wrong.  Then I noticed the side mirror had been ripped clean off.  There was some deer hair stuck into where the quarter panel had cracked in a few places.

Deer Hair from accident

That was it!  I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.  The deer, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky.  It was still alive… but just barely.  It had enough energy to drag itself from the center of the road to the ditch.  The same ditch it was trying to get to in the first place.

Once in the ditch it rustled for a minute and then there was silence.

I felt really bad for the deer.  I hope it died quickly and didn’t suffer too long.  It was an extremely helpless feeling wanting to be able to put it out of it’s misery but not being able to do so.

A nice guy pulled over to make sure I was OK.  We talked for a bit.  He lived just around the corner and said there are always deer related accidents in that spot.

The rest of the way home I kept replaying the scene and thinking about how lucky I was.  I was unhurt.  A little rattle but unhurt.

The vehicle is still driveable.  I’ll patch up the quarter panel damage and hit up a junk yard for a replacement side mirror.  It might not look brand new but it’ll get me to work and back which is really all I need.

Deer accident side view

Deer damage another view

Deer are beautiful animals.  It’s cool to see them in the tree line as you drive by.  I have fond memories of bottle feeding the newborn fawns that my Grandfather raised.  I’m not a big fan of when they wander out on the road.

That was the first deer I’ve hit in 25 years of driving.  I certainly hope it was the last!

Do you have you own deer accident story?  Leave a comment.  I’d love to hear it.

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