July 15, 2009
My Engine’s Runnin’ a Little Hot
By Scott Bestul
I have lived in—and driven through—prime whitetail country for most of my adult life. Amazingly, I have hit only three deer with my vehicle. Actually, scratch that. Every whitetail my vehicle has made contact with has run into me. There was a Wisconsin doe that head-butted my front tire, an Iowa buck that took out my driver’s side mirror and door (I thought that one was coming into the cab with me), and a Minnesota doe that slipped on the pavement and slid into my grill.
In each of these instances, the deer came at me from the side so quickly that my foot never even touched the brake. Now I’m no fighter pilot, but my reaction time is decent and I am on a near-constant lookout for whitetails, especially when I am a) driving through known deer country and b) it is prime movement hours. Even in high-alert mode, I think whacking a whitetail is nearly inevitable when you live and drive among them.
The photo above was sent to me from a hunting buddy who claimed the driver finally pulled over when he “noticed his engine was running a little hot.” Whether this story is true, I thought the deer-in-the-grill pic would be a good way to jump-start discussion on deer/vehicle crashes. Have you had many? None? Any solid tips for folks to avoid these unpleasant (and usually expensive) encounters?