[TR] Oh deer

Michael Porter mdporter at dfn.com
Thu Apr 9 20:03:38 MDT 2015

On 4/9/2015 5:36 PM, Jim Wallace wrote:
> Be careful....particularly, in November.
The first one I hit was around the end of October or early November.  I 
suspect it was a loser in the rutting season and had decided to commit 
suicide.  I was teaching at a school about thirty miles away, and the 
shortest route was all back roads, so I was always careful around the 
areas where I knew they hung out.  There was a pretty much year-round 
stand of deer in a swamp south of the road I took, and when I turned the 
corner onto that road one night, I saw yellow eyeballs about 500 yards 
away and immediately slowed down, because I was in a `66 VW camper and 
didn't want to push my luck.  By the time I got near where I'd seen the 
deer, I was down to about 15 mph, and the bugger still jumped out right 
in front of me. The skin on the front of the bus isn't much protection, 
but there's about 10 cm between the outer skin and the interior bracing, 
and that turned the outer skin into a trampoline.  The deer bounced off 
it and rolled over in the ditch a couple of times and was on its feet 
and running in one motion.

Second time was in a `68 VW camper (I was t-boned in the `66 the 
following February by an 18-year-old girl driving a new 1980 Camaro way 
too fast for either her skill level or the road conditions and needed 
something requiring less work to make roadworthy), doing about 65 on a 
rather twisty rural road on my way to work one morning, and a young 
fawn, still spotted and barely two feet tall at the shoulder, ran out in 
front of me, left to right on an uphill left-hander.  Honest to god, the 
first thing that went through head was that my kids would instinctively 
know that I had killed Bambi, so I mashed down on the brakes and veered 
left, but I lost sight of it under the front. At just the moment that I 
thought I'd hit it, I heard a little *click* as one of its back hooves 
contacted the edge of the bumper and saw it scamper off into the woods.

Third time was a near-miss on an old divided highway in Texas--in 
November--at about 2 a.m. Was taking my time moving into the left lane 
to pass a flatbed that was doing close to 70, hauling what looked to be 
a couple of D-9 Cats, and as I swung left, the headlights just 
momentarily played on an old, old buck, his harem trailing behind, 
crossing a rather wide median on my left.  It was obviously very old, 
about twenty points, and very large, and had to dip its head and neck to 
get up enough steam to climb the shallow grade up to the roadway and 
began to walk across.  I clamped down hard on the brakes, and just as I 
did so, realized that the deer must have also been almost completely 
blind and deaf, because with its head bowed down, it simply walked 
straight into the space between the two axles on the rear of the passing 
trailer.  The antlers tangled in the tires, which instantly broke its 
neck and flung it end-over-end about forty feet in the air, over the 
flatbed into a field on the right side of the highway, about a hundred 
feet away.  That's been an indelible memory, seeing that deer, bleached 
white in the headlights against a pitch-black sky, sailing head over 
hooves through the air.

I guess the moral of that one is that when you're getting on in years 
and your faculties aren't what they once were, it's probably best not to 
go on midnight strolls with your girlfriends.



Michael Porter
Roswell, NM

Never let anyone drive you crazy when you know it's within walking distance....

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