QOTD: Close Encounters With the Animal Kingdom

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

qotd close encounters with the animal kingdom

I had to come to a complete stop in the middle of a two-lane highway in upstate New York last week because a deer decided to cross the road in front of me.

Years ago, I was the passenger in a Hyundai Veloster somewhere in Oregon (or perhaps Washington state) when a deer jumped in front of us and we were millimeters from impact.

When I was in high school, a deer jumped in front of my Fox-body Mustang and I missed it by a razor-thin margin -- had I hit it, I might not be here. It was big and that car was small. Also, it was an '89, so no airbags.

I did hit a deer once, when I was in college, driving my dad's '90-something Town and Country. Glancing blow, the deer bounded off into the woods. Thankfully the hit didn't do much damage -- more damage was done when I pulled over to assess the damage and accidentally caught the drainage ditch.

Those are the deer/automobile encounters I can remember as either a driver or passenger -- and there have been plenty of times I've spotted them by the side of the road, of course.

I've generally tried not to hit animals, but youthful mistakes do happen, and I did kill a poor bunny once. And a possum ended up on the wrong side of my tires, once, too. I still feel guilty about both incidents, though I understand that it does happen even to good drivers -- animals sometimes get in our way before we can see and/or react.

So, my question to you is -- what's your track record? Have you managed to kill only the bugs that hit your windshield? Or have you provided scavengers with venison and game -- maybe even beef if you live in a place where cattle wander? Or somewhere in between?

Sound off below.

[Image: OFC Pictures/Shutterstock.com]

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2 of 43 comments
  • JamesGarfield JamesGarfield on Aug 05, 2023

    Going to work one morning in rural Central TX (Hwy 150 between Dripping Springs and Driftwood, rural ranch land area), I nailed a big deer in my 88 Subaru wagon. Deer's head went over the hood, antlers making a big 'CBS' shaped crack in the windshield. Deer's body swung around and smashed up the car's left side. All this happened in an instant, before I could even slow down.

    Got to work, couldn't open the hood or driver's door. Deer fur and poop all down the car's left side. State Farm totaled the car, and I moved up to a 98 Cherokee.

    Two months later, coming home from work one evening, hit another deer, on that same road, about a quarter mile away from the first hit. It was a smaller deer this time (maybe Bambi out looking for mommy), and I was in a bigger vehicle, so I won this round. The deer took out the right headlight and fender, State Farm fixed it for $100 deductible.

    Griping to my boss about this, and she said her husband clobbers about one deer per year on that road. I don't work out there now, and I miss the Job, but not the deer hits.

  • JamesGarfield JamesGarfield on Aug 05, 2023

    Boston was having a problem a while ago with animal collisions. Crows were getting clobbered on the highway, while trying to feast on some other roadkill. But strangely enough, it wasn't Cars killing the crows, but rather u large commercial vehicles.

    Investigation revealed the crows in Boston had developed a clever survival technique when feasting on a highway roadkill. The crows would post some guard birds up on the utility lines nearby, while the rest if the crows devoured below.

    If a car came by, the guard crows would call out "KAAHH!! KAAHH!!"

    But the guard crows couldn't call out "TRUKKK!! TRUKKK!!"

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