Doe a deer, a roadkill deer

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All of these mild, short winters we’ve been having have really bumped up the deer population. I’ll never forget coming out of the Shop-Rite on Route 206 near Princeton a while back and seeing a doe scurrying around the parking lot.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunately able to slam on my brakes in time to avoid hitting a deer in my lane. The stupid thing just stood there, even after I had stopped. I had to beep the horn to get it to move off the road.

This past Friday evening, my dad, who lives in western PA, wasn’t quite so lucky. A doe and a buck were in his lane, and another doe was in the opposing lane. He was only going around 45 mph, but braking caused his truck to spin around (I’m guessing he swerved), and the rear of his truck struck one of the deer, and his passenger side door struck an embankment.

The vehicle following him also struck one of the deer.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. My dad did bump his head slightly. Unfortunately, his truck got a bit smashed up. Sadly, it is a used truck that he has spent most of the spring and summer trying to get running, and he had just finished it.

Late fall and early winter are when deer are on the move because of hunting season or mating season. A CNN report I found while Googling said that there are around 4000 deer-related traffic accidents a day.

I was curious too whether those wind-powered plastic deer whistles work. I used to have one, but it fell off after a car wash. One study said that road noise drowns them out. There is a company makes a higher decibel electronic deer whistle for $60, but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle of installation.

Oh well, I guess the easy thing to do is slow down, turn on headlights at dusk, and stay alert.

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A few years ago in Kansas, attached to my front bumper I sported, not one, but two black wind-powered plastic deer whistles. I chose “stealth black” cause I didn’t want those pesky deer to know it was Me with the whistle (smart, aint’ I?).

For the first few weeks it seemed to work, I mean, while driving along NO deer crossed my path, but hey, on the other hand neither did any lions or elephants. So I quickly surmised that I must of accidently bought the “multi-animal” plastic whistle. Gee…it didn’t seem that expensive?

Soon thereafter I noticed the deer showing up alongside the road, first one, then another, after that a small handful. At first they just stared at me as I drove past. Whew, lucky me!

Later on, the deer would start heading towards my direction along the ditch every time I approached and I started wondering if I had lost the whistle in some car wash somewhere. Checking my front bumper, there they stood like two proud sentinels guarding a Kings’ treasury. Well, at least they kept the deer and other beasties off the road, I thought.

A few weeks of this strange behaviour (the deers’, not mine) and now most everytime I approached the deer would head towards me then turn and run alongside my car as I barreled along the highway, and Boy, can they jump or bound or whatever propels them. A beautiful sight no less, but still a bit scary.

I was now getting worried. What if the deer decided to race across the road in front of me? What would I do? And did the whistles wear out? Did I buy an inferior brand? What about that strange muffled high pitched sound I heard which seemed to eminate from my radiator, near about the time I installed both units. Too many questions.

Curiousity overcame me one day and I headed back down to the sporting goods place where I first made the purchase. I told the guy at the counter what strange encounters I was having with his product and he agreed and said he’d come outside and check them out.

He bent down on one knee to examine the bumper sentinels, took a close look at them and fell the rest of the way to the concrete in fits of laughter. He must of laid there a minute laughing and gasping before he finally got up and took me, puzzled faced, back into his store and down isle #3.

Reaching for a sale item, he held it up to my face as I read on the label “American Elk Mating Whistle”.

So I’m here to tell you, “This stuff works!”

Very interesting story. Hmmm…

Couldn’t really believe that there are so many deer related acidents per day. Just checked this out because I ran into a deer last night. Fortunately for me, the deer was lame and my car (probably too) fast, so the deer crashed into my rear fender. Not much damage to the car - could’t find the deer on the road (ran off into the woods). Lesson for me: be more careful after sunset at this time of the year.