The Hit

I think I’ve discovered something of importance. I think that deer, especially aggressive male deer, have figured out that hunters drive cars! And even more, that certain specific members of the Deer Tribe have taken it upon themselves, like suicide bombers, to hunt down and attempt to destroy cars! And deer whistles, while popular in rural areas, do not work. In fact, I think that deer whistles, emitting their high pitched tone, might even act as a homing device. Here is my reasoning. Here is my personal story.

It was a dark, cold, snowy winter night . . . well, that’s an exaggeration. Actually it was bright enough to read a newspaper, totally clear and very quiet, but it was mid November and it was out in the woods in the rural Ozarks. That’s where I live, or rather that’s where we live, in a log cabin way back in the trees by a small patch of water. I had been waiting for my lady to return. She had gone to pick up her eight-year-old grandson for a weekend visit and was due back around six in the evening. Well, six thirty came, and then, around seven thirty, a strange looking truck comes down the driveway. My partner and her grandson crawl out. I can tell something serious has happened.

She had been driving down the narrow two lane blacktop about five miles from our cabin when a BIG deer hit her HEAD ON! Totaled her car! And she was driving a very large, Lincoln Town Car. She said that she came over the top of a hill and it was headed at her full speed in the moonlight. When we arrived back on the scene, her car looked like it had been hit by a speeding motorcycle between the headlights! She said the creature seemed to be determined to collide with her car. Luckily no one had been hurt, but the impact did deploy both airbags (which I gather is the determining factor for an insurance company to label a car totaled).

We stand on the deserted road by her wrecked car waiting for a policeman or a tow truck to show up. Calls have been made. We wait and we wait and we wait. Turns out the tow in our local town isn’t available, so one has to be dispatched from a neighboring town a considerable distance away. We don’t have a cell phone and it wouldn’t work out here if we did. It is a very quiet night. There is NO traffic on the road. Finally the highway patrolman comes and tells us the good news. It won’t be counted against her as an "accident" since hitting a deer is like an "act of God" like a hail storm. It isn’t considered a collision, even though it has totaled her car. The tow finally arrives and we get her car loaded up and we’re headed home in my car, a small Sebring convertible. We finally start to relax a little. It has been a strange, stressful couple of hours. Then BANG! A huge buck comes charging out of the woods with his head down intent upon wrecking my personal vehicle! I feel like a wide receiver in a championship football game and he is an all-pro linebacker. He is intent! As he lowers his head, we make eye contact for a milli-second. He seems to have targeted my driver’s side front wheel well as the most vulnerable area. As he collides, his horns enter the wheel well. The force of the impact breaks the windshield, dents the front fender, and as his body folds back, he caves in my door and removes the rearview mirror assembly! I can’t believe it. Absolutely no traffic on the road. He must have been waiting for around an hour for a human vehicle to come down the road. This wasn’t some deer confused beneath an onrushing automobile’s headlights. He was moving at full speed when he lowered his head into my front wheel well. When he lowered his head and we made eye contact, I could tell he was pissed! He had an attitude! And he had a plan. What are the odds of it happening twice to one family within ninety minutes? This gave me considerable pause.

After thinking on it for a night, I think I have an answer. I think deer season (which started this weekend) freaks the deer out so much that they start doing crazy things like running around hunting for cars to crash into when they SHOULD be sleeping. They should put out warnings on the evening news. "Don’t drive after dark in the country, if you can help it. It is deer season and the deer are pissed!" They’re like the suicide bombers in Iraq. BOOM! And your car’s gone and you’ve got two hundred pounds of deer meat in your lap. I saw a local newspaper where a guy actually got center-punched on his motorcycle! Whew … I actually think that the more aggressive bucks have made the connection between hunters and cars and since they can’t attack hunters in the woods (because, after all, they are all armed) they lie in wait for cars to come and then . . . ATTACK! In both cases these deer weren’t "blinded" by light or confused by traffic. The moon was light enough to read by and there were NO cars on the narrow two lane road. Beware. I think the animals are beginning to get organized.

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