Oh, Deer!

Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 10:24 am
By: Doug Lund
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deer on roadIt’s rutting season; that time of year when male white tail deer go absolutely nuts with desire and the need to propagate. In order to impress the coy females, they’ll display all sorts of bizarre behavior like locking horns with other bucks, rolling around in the dirt or throwing caution to the wind by playing a game of sex-crazed chicken with motor vehicles on the roadways.  I’ve driven a lot of miles over the years and have been extremely lucky to have never collided with one of these  animals. Oh, wait..there was that one incident along I-90 on our way to Mitchell in 1985.

Linda and I hadn’t been married for very long and there were still some things about me she hadn’t quite figured out yet..like my sense of humor. The evening didn’t start out to be funny as somewhere around Alexandria, I caught a glimpse of a deer running across the median right at us. The next thing we heard was a clunk toward the rear of our 1983 Lincoln. (Yup, our Lincoln legacy goes way back.) After I pulled over to see the results of this confrontation, I told Linda not to look until we got to Mitchell but the deer’s severed head was hanging from the bumper. She reacted just as I’d imagined; with a shriek..then concern about the poor animal..then about damage to the car. When we got to town and stopped I held her hand as we nervously stepped around back to survey the disaster. What she saw was…nothing.. no damage…no carcass..just me trying to hold back a giggle.  So it was with a combination of relief and anger that she turned and gave me one of those sharp knuckle slugs to my upper arm that doesn’t seem like much more than a love tap at the time but hurts like hell and pops up as a purple circle on the skin next morning. I guess I had it coming.  I don’t know what really happened. It sounded like the deer hit the car’s side pretty hard but there wasn’t any evidence other than a smudge by the back door where he’d rubbed a little dirt off with his furry pelt.

Our friends, Denny and Joanie weren’t so lucky over the weekend. They were headed home from the golf course in Brandon just after dark when they came upon a big horny (in more ways than one) stag standing in the middle of the road. The next thing they heard was a  crash and the noise of an erupting air bag. They hit so hard that the animal went flying across their lane and into the windshield of an oncoming pick-up truck… finally coming to rest in the passenger’s laps.

Joan and Denny survey damage to their car from the daredevil deer

Joan and Denny survey damage to their car from the daredevil deer

Antler punctures on the fender.

Antler punctures on the fender.

Luckily, our friends weren’t hurt other than the pain of losing their car and causing the demise of that love-starved buck whose attempts to impress a finicky doe caused him to make a foolish and fatal decision.

I guess, though, when you think about it, men aren’t all that different from rutting animals. We may not stand in traffic to get a woman’s attention but we’re not above doing other stupid things in the hopes of being invited into their boudoir..like playing practical jokes.

I’m feeling a little pain in my bicep just thinking about it.


  1. Cam Lind says:

    Funny, but amazingly true.

  2. Per Pål P says:

    I have had 6 “incidents”….Yes…6!!!!!!….Anyone top that ?
    My last one…just North of Ivanhoe, MN…on 19….got all 3 deer in one “hit”.
    NO wonder my friend Dave Quam at Dave’s Collision Repair in Brookings gives me gift certificates to Sioux Fall’s places to eat…all good after 7 p.m at night…and good only during the last half of Oct. til end of Nov…. I think he funds his 401 K from me. I believe I-29 between Brookings and Sioux Falls has to be one of the worst areas in SD for Deer-Vehicle accidents. Per Pål

  3. Mike C says:

    I’m just so glad that those two wonderful people did not get hurt.

  4. Angela says:

    I was riding and my husband was driving once….I said Deer, his reply what…said it again Deer he got annoyed what do you want…we barely missed the deer that ran in front of us….I have not called him Dear again!!

  5. Paul F says:

    I saw a big buck (not The big buck) on Southeastern Avenue last night.

  6. Claude M. says:

    My Grandmother was involved in one of those deer situations.
    They even wrote a song about it. Grandma got run over by a
    reindeer, going to the outhouse xmas eve. ……………..
    That’s gotta hurt.

  7. Brenda says:

    Angela I also, had the “dear” incident. Actually happened on our way to Easter dinner at Grandma Linda and Grandpa Doug Lund’s!! I had 3..yes 3 deer hunters in the pick-up! My two boys in the back and spouse was driving. Gave the “DEER” twice and I got a “Yes hon” as we collided. <>

  8. john mogen says:

    Charlie and I bagged our first doe just east of Wagner several years ago. He shouted, “Dad, did you see that deer fly?” Of course, I HAD seen her whizzing off our front bumper. Sickening crunch!

  9. grouse says:

    The Auto Body Repair and Deer Hunting lobby have to be two of the most powerful entities in South Dakota. If anyone or anything else was responsible for this many accidents, the cops would have patrols set up targeting them. There was never the massive number of deer crashes years ago that occur now. The obvious conclusion is that there are too many damned deer! They are inflicting massive costs to the public and are a real threat to the health and lives of South Dakotans and our visiting neighbors. To my knowledge, the slaughtered deer are not even allowed to be used for food. We need to thin these massive herds severely. Then bon appitite!

  10. jp says:

    yep can beat the 6 incidents, my husband hit 13 in one year but don’t tell him that I told on him. Each was a seperate incident and a total of 6 new vehicles. This happened in the northern part of the state. Have since put him in a 4 wheel drive with a cattle guard and have not had any incidents since.

  11. PS says:

    If you think their car looks bad, you should see the pickup that it hit. That guy is lucky to be alive!

  12. Chad says:

    I was on I29, between Sioux City and Siouxfalls. I was passing a car, when i saw a flash in that car’s interrior, it was night time. He had hit a deer, his air bag went off. The deer that he hit, landed in my lane and I ran over the top of it. There were drag marks on the interstate for 100 feet. Nobody got hurt, but I will never forget that.

  13. Jean says:

    Did it ever occur to Grouse that the number of autos on the road might have something to do with that? The deer population hasn’t increased any more than the human population and with that never a break in traffic for the animals to safely cross the road. When you could actually drive on I-90 with your lights on bright it wasn’t near the issue. Now too many cars, don’t blame the innocent. I can guarantee you they (deer)are not happy with the situation.

  14. Per Pål P says:

    Evidently Jean you’ve never had the misfortune to hit a deer…or deer(s)…or you’d agree with Grouse….I sure do…. Per Pål

  15. john says:

    i hit 6 of them just east of canton at the same time one year driving a big chevy with a grill gaurd. and for worst stretch try the newten hills area to hudson after dark

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