Deer Revenge

Last Tuesday I took most of the afternoon off from work for a doctors appointment and then to drive to Idaho. I needed to be onsite to take delivery on 18” surveyors stakes used for holding the Boomershoot reactive targets and some other Boomershoot tasks.

About dusk, going 65 MPH on highway 26 west of Dusty, I hit a deer. Even though the radiator was pushed back, the left turn signal and headlight were flopping about, the driver door was difficult to open, the seat belt had retracted and locked (the indicator on the dash indicated the air-bag had deployed but had not actually done so), the car was still drivable. I made it on to my camping trailer near Boomershoot and successfully took delivery on the stakes and did most of the other business. A few days later the insurance company declared the car totaled, so I now have a new, to me, car.

I had planned to drive that car for several more years. Barb and I both loved the metallic blue color. The “new” car was what I could find on short notice which met my immediate needs. That was a high price to pay for a trip to Idaho.

Later, when talking with my cousin Alan, we discussed the interaction between people and deer. He has hit five and one of those was while on a motorcycle. He spent a few days in the hospital for the motorcycle. He went on to say that white-tailed deer cause the death of more people than any other animal in the continental U.S. I knew that the most frequent cause of vehicle accidents in Clearwater County Idaho was a collision with a deer, but I didn’t know they claimed more lives than any other animal in the U.S.

Alan’s claim is confirmed in this video:

It is almost as if they are attempting to get revenge for our hunting of them.

Update: These are sequential frames of the video. From the first frame until the last is 1.05 Seconds:









18 thoughts on “Deer Revenge

  1. Yeah, we here at Castellum Fortis also have found out the hard way that the newer cars are designed for passenger safety at the expense of the vehicle being economically repairable, and along with that, even minor damage anywhere forward of the passenger compartment can easily compromise computer hardware function.

  2. Most of the deaths due to deer aren’t because of colliding with the deer, but because drivers swerve to avoid the deer and go off the road.

    And that’s the perfect deer revenge – it’s not a suicide mission for the deer if you didn’t hit it.

  3. Bummer of a way to get a replacement car.

    I slowed down enough that I avoided hitting my kamikaze deer, so she did a very quick 180 for a second pass. Dammit!

    • There are three reasons malaria is very rare in the USA. First, there’s only one genus of mosquitos that can transmit malaria, Anopheles, and although there are a few Anopheles species that can breed and transmit malaria in the 48 states and even Canada, they are rare. Second, we drained most of the swamps where Anopheles breeds, and often treat the ones that remain to kill the larva. Third, to transmit malaria, the mosquito must first catch the malaria parasite by biting a human or animal carrying it, and we’ve made carriers very rare.

  4. This the Escape? Seems like you’ve been driving the same one for the past 15 years.

    Was wondering a couple weeks ago how many miles you put on it.

    • I bought a blue 2009 Escape in 2012. I traded that in for a brand new blue 2018 Escape in 2018. It was the 2018 that I hit the deer with.

      Before the 2009 Escape I had a white Escape hybrid for several years.

  5. They travel in groups. slowing down for the first one seen seems to set you up for the followers. They tend to cross one at a time.

    Hit a LARGE doe with my ’66 Ranchero early one morning maybe 1975. Country road, July? The deer were headed into a corn field for breakfast. I nailed #3, I think. Left a lot of rubber on the road trying to slow down, probably still doing about 50 when I hit her. Had a stepbrothers’ Honda 350 in the back, so a bit more weight than normal. Radiator into the fan. Had to wait for a while till it got light enough to work on it. No flashlight. Used the jack to push the radiator off the fan so I could start it. Hood, grill, fenders, radiator all damaged. Dad had a body shop, so I fixed it. Looked for deer, found her in the corn, missing one entire leg. Never found that. 45 minute trip to get home, and discover I could have kept the deer, due to a new law. Ran back, but she was gone. Farmer found her, sigh…

  6. Well, now we know that Joe has at least one solution to the question, “What caliber for deer?”

    Turns out that deer go down pretty easily when you hit them with a 24829000 grain 71.1 caliber semi-wadcutter projectile at 95 feet/second. That’s 336,965 foot-pounds of energy, even if that is spread across the 16 square feet of the deer-smashing-face of the round. .50 BMG is only about 10,000 to 15,000 foot-pounds, in comparison.

  7. Had a whitetail doe decide run out of the woods in front of me out near Republic. Max braking applied but I knew this one was going to tag me. Miraculously there was no bump. Could not have missed her by more than 3″ I am sure. Interestingly though, there were quite a number of slightly yellowish drops of water on my windshield. My wife wondered if that doe would ever try to beat a car across the road again. We were glad we could laugh about it instead of calling a tow truck.

    • A coworker of mine said breaking hard makes the impact more dangerous because the front of the vehicle dips down. This increases the likelihood of the animal going through the windshield.

      • I had never thought of that even though I knew that braking will cause the front of a vehicle to drop some. I was always aware that taller animals like elk, moose and horses were a danger for that because the bulk of their mass was already above the hood level of most cars and light trucks. I think it will be hard to break the instinct to brake hard to avoid an animal collision as the thought of a totaled vehicle is extremely unpleasant. How do you bet on and train yourself for such undesirable options with split second timing? I wonder how a deer guard would look on my Honda CR-V?

      • Uhhh, yeah, it was on the exterior of the windshield. Now, had the deer come through the windshield, the water would definitely have had a different source but would also have been on the seat and the floor!

  8. Here’s mine.

    Not much damage. Had to replace the right headlamp assembly. Never found the deer. The oncoming vehicle said it ran off into the woods.

    If they show up, sorry about the ads. Damn Youtube.

    • I have updated the post with sequential frames of my video. This deer was hit a much harder than yours and may have actually been hit three times. It also came close to coming in over the hood on the second strike.

  9. A friend was a passenger in a large car, full seats, that clipped a deer that ended up tumbling down the side of it, late 60’s. I don’t remember if the windows were up or down, but he was not the only one injured by hooves coming in through the side windows.

Comments are closed.