Oh, Deer Me!
WINTERTIME IN INDIANA – ICY COLD, SNOW UP TO YOUR VASECTOMY SCARS, AND DEER EVERYWHERE. You can’t do much about the cold temperatures and it is pointless to worry about the snow. It is all of those deer that make things scary. They are everywhere and they all seem to be part of a suicide pact.
Maybe all of the 87 million deer within the Terre Haute (That’s French for “Look out, here they come!”) city limits have reached their own personal breaking point and have decided to end it all by leaping into traffic.
The number of deer/motor vehicle collisions around here is just plain ridiculous. The result is measured in bent metal insurance claims and venison hot links.
Zero wins – Two losses.
One would think (Me being One) that these kind of accidents would be happening mainly on country
roads where the deer would come frolicking out of the trees. Things have changed. With the advent of coyotes boldly coming into town the deer population has stopped frolicking and is now running for its life with Wile E. Coyote nipping at their puffy little white tails.
Instead of bolting into traffic from the tree line the Dinners With Cloven Hoofs are coming out from between houses and backyard swing sets. I see their tracks in the snow in our driveway. Surprise!
Let me tell you – hitting a deer is a lot different than meeting up with a squirrel or even a dog, cat or itinerant roofer. Hit one of those and all you get is goo on your tires. Run into a deer and you can expect to be driving a rental car until your new front end comes into the car repair shop. The best way to think of a deer is as Meat on the Hoof or as a brick wall with pretty eyes. (Now that I think about it those descriptions also fit a gal I dated while in college. She also had the bad habit of running into traffic.)
One time, long ago and in a galaxy far, far, away (Canada) I recall seeing signs alongside the roads announcing “Moose Crossing.” Imagine having to deal with a thousand pound deer with a chip on its eight foot high shoulder. Hit one of those massive critters and everyone will have to wait until Spring to separate your remains from the twisted chassis of your car. That is one reason (Among many) I have avoided Canada in recent decades.
This time of year in Indiana there are millions of deer/automobile matings. The deer loses. The car loses and if you are not lucky – you lose as well.
Years ago I had a friend who had a head on crash with a well-antlered male deer. The deer, which was considerably larger than Bambi, came through the windshield, impaling itself into the passenger side seat. She was in the car alone – except for several hundred pounds of wounded and terrified animal. It all ended poorly. The deer died inside the car and my friend spent a month in the hospital.
Now, in late-January I am leery of driving at night around town with deer merging into traffic without signaling. I think I’ll just go to Las Vegas and have a 99 cent Shrimp Cocktail.