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View Full Version : OT- How Do I NOT Hit a Deer Again?



rws
09-26-2013, 07:09 AM
About 5 weeks ago, I was driving to work, a buck came running full speed across the road from my left and I hit it, crunched the right front end of my truck. $500 deductible down the drain. Since then, there has been at least 3 more hits along the same stretch of road that I have seen, probably more that I haven't seen.

Driving slow in "rush to work" time pisses people off. I try to stay behind someone and let them be the point man, but that isn't always possible.

So, is there something like a "dog whistle" type siren that I could use that would scare them away, or at least get their attention to stop? I can't use an audible siren for obvious reasons, but if I woke up all the dogs along the road I wouldn't care. Or some other means of alerting deer?

EVguru
09-26-2013, 07:21 AM
http://www.bioacoustics.uconn.edu/reports/ARLOManuscript326%20FINAL.pdf

Lew Hartswick
09-26-2013, 07:23 AM
I've seen such advertized, Have no idea if they really work. Somehow I sort of doubt it. When a deer is
running (such as from being disturbed or chased) they probably don't pay much attention to anything
like a noise like that. :-) Now if they are just grazing along the right-of-way it may get their attention.
...lew...

sandiapaul
09-26-2013, 07:35 AM
I live in a HEAVY deer populated area. I am constantly aware of the edges of the road and never hit one till my birthday this year in early August. It was the middle of the day and it hit me at a full run coming from behind a thick row of trees and bushes. I never even had time to get on the brakes. Nearly brand new car(VW Golf R) and there went my $750. deduct.

I am now a bit gun shy, esp in the area where I hit it, there are always dead ones on the side of the road in that area. I do mean always. On a 6 mile trip the other day I counted 6 dead deer on the side of the road.

So...yes I'd be interested in this too. These whistle things I have been told don't really(or at all) work.

Paul

BigBoy1
09-26-2013, 07:48 AM
On a recent radio talk show program, there was a discussion topic of how to avoid hitting deer which were crossing the road. A female caller suggested, "More signs need to be posted in the woods to warn the deer of the road ahead." When the host said that deer couldn't read the signs, she suggested the signs be a picture of a fast moving car. She then suggested, "The signs which are on the side of the roads telling the deer where to cross the road, should be moved so the deer will know it is a safe place to cross the road." The worst part of the discussion was the woman was totally serious!

flylo
09-26-2013, 07:51 AM
I hit 2 in one night 100 miles apart headed to the U.P. to be in a wedding totaling my wifes New Yorker which I just took full coverage off of because she went back to school & money was tight. The next week I hit one with my truck on the interstate. It jumped the fence. I keep a higher deductable on collision & $50 ded on comp which is cheap anyway.

vpt
09-26-2013, 08:29 AM
The whistles don't work. When a deer is on the run it will just run. While hunting in the dead quiet woods I have tried it all to get a running deer to stop and they just simply don't. I've tried whistling, yelling, throwing stuff near them, everything. The only thing I found that stops them is a bullet.

With that said, if your problem is driving at night, get driving lights! I put them on my trucks so I can see really far down the road and spot the eyeballs.

If you can't slow down or see anything get a deer guard on the front of your truck.

My old truck driving lights next to fog lights.

http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/318/96truck044.jpg


Deer guard:

http://cowcountrysales.com/new/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/sh_body_guard_1.jpg

SteveF
09-26-2013, 08:37 AM
I live out in the country and we have a large number of deer in the area. I've never had one come across in front of me at a full run, but every time I see them grazing or trotting towards the road I lay on the horn button several times and, so far, have yet to have one enter the road. Generally when they hear the horn they turn and run away. When I'm driving through at night I have my thumb on the horn button. Haven't done this test a couple of thousand times, only a couple of hundred but it hasn't failed me yet.

YMMV

Steve

Seastar
09-26-2013, 08:59 AM
The deer I encounter in the Arrowhead of Minnesota that are grazing alongside the road will either ignore a horn or run. They may run into the woods or run across the road in front of you.
I think the only solution is to slow down so that you have more time to avoid them.

What's even worse than hitting a deer is hitting a moose. That will total a car. They are so tall that their bodies can hit the windshield and so big they can kill you. If you honk at a bull moose during rutting season it may charge you. I had that happen.
Bill

vpt
09-26-2013, 09:22 AM
I have seen people hit bears around here. One of my buddies hit a moose once. I remember reading in the paper once about a guy hitting a cow. And a turkey will come threw the windshield as well.

T.Hoffman
09-26-2013, 09:32 AM
My body shop friend says he sees just as many deer collision that come in with the "deer whistles" as he does without.

achtanelion
09-26-2013, 09:37 AM
The solution is simple. Hunt and encourage others to. Super high deer numbers are due to a lack of predation. In most of north America humans are the only serious predator deer have.

A couple years ago my brother and I hit a moose. We were travelling at dark o'clock down a secondary highway in his sunfire. The black moose on the black highway gave us a second or less of warning. We were extremely fortunate in that the moose lay down on the hood and ramped the A pillars going right over top. Total damage to me: a 3/4" long scratch. My brother: glass dust in his eyes from the windshield and a 1/4" scratch on his nose. The car: written off. The moose: tasy and tenderized.

I got drawn for moose this year.

J Harp
09-26-2013, 09:39 AM
I was going through the middle of a low spot in the road, in southern Indiana, with an 18 wheeler, five deer tried to cross at the same time. Two of them made it. The tractor was a cab-over. One hit smack in the front, bent the middle of the bumper, didn't hurt the radiator. Another bounced off the right front corner below the headlight, left a dent. The third one ran full speed into the trailer tandem, no damage to the trailer. This was about 7 or 8 AM, full daylight, but light fog in the ditches and low spots.

davidwdyer
09-26-2013, 10:19 AM
There is no good solution, although the "sign" idea might work if we could recruit the woman who thought of it to teach all the deer to read.

I've seen cases where deer ran right into the side of vehicles. In one instance, the deer was running over an open field with nothing to

block his view of the moving car but, he plowed right into the back left window of an SUV breaking the window and his neck. I think it has to do with their vision. While they have good

night vision, I don't think they can see well during the day. Also, since their eyes are on opposite sides of the head, this makes their ability to triangulate and

judge distances very poor. In Nelson WI deer constantly try to jump through the spaces between moving train cars. This makes for a lot of dead deer.

jep24601
09-26-2013, 11:25 AM
In East Africa in the middle of the night driving through Tsavo I had a Zebra run across in front of the car, turn around in the other lane and run right in front of the car when I hit it. Broke a lot of lights and plastic. The Zebra just got up and ran off.

Another time I came upon an antelope sitting at the side of the road, I started braking knowing what could happen, and when I drew level with it, it jumped right into the side of the front fender.

The thing about all dear is that they believe themselves to be the fastest creatures in the forest and they therefore misjudge the speed of vehicles. They're not deaf and they don't need deer whistles to hear you coming. The problem is that they decide which side of the road is safer for them and they will proceed there regardless because the think they are faster than you.

Peter.
09-26-2013, 11:43 AM
Are deer as stupid as antelope?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-EYfgmXxTA

:D

Willy
09-26-2013, 01:14 PM
.....
....
The thing about all dear is that they believe themselves to be the fastest creatures in the forest and they therefore misjudge the speed of vehicles. They're not deaf and they don't need deer whistles to hear you coming. The problem is that they decide which side of the road is safer for them and they will proceed there regardless because the think they are faster than you.

I believe this is key to understanding how deer interact with vehicular traffic. Deer have absolutely no concept of how fast cars move or that they are limited to a preset route governed by the road. They do not understand that cars can't fly up or down the bank in order to avoid or chase them.

Also in my experience at least, it isn't the deer that you spot on the side of the road that are a danger. The ones that you don't see that come flying out from cover at the last moment seem to present the greatest threat. Deer are not solitary animals, for every one you see there are usually 3-5 just out of sight...till the very last moment.

Slowing down is not always an option but it is your best defense as it gives both you and the animal that all important bit of extra leeway for reaction time.
Bright driving lights help as well but they too have their limits, especially when there is a lot of oncoming traffic.

Spend a couple grand on hunting gear, rifle, tags, etc, and brag to everyone that you're going to bring home the biggest critter this side of a Boone&Crockett record and I swear you'll never see another one!:D

krutch
09-26-2013, 03:00 PM
Deer whistles can work but not always successful. A girlfriend reported less close calls after I installed a pair on her car. But also she said more dogs came running out towards her car.
One I hit was clear of the road but did a 180 and back into my path at the last minute.
All the bambi huggers that won't allow hunting don't realize (or maybe care) that herds can get large enough to become disease carriers causing issues with other animals and humans.

The Artful Bodger
09-26-2013, 04:07 PM
On the rare occasion when it does actually rain in some parts of "NZ's West Island" it drains of the sides of the road and green shoots soon appear. Kangaroos stand along the edge of the road eating these shoots until a vehicle comes along and if this is at night they just stand there seemingly dazzled then at the last minute jump between the headlights. Thats why many of the locals drive vehicles like this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Deni_ute_muster_2002_two_utes.jpg

We were on a bus one night when the passengers were getting really freaked out by the sickening 'thunks' every minute or two so the driver switched off all lights and continued IFR! 100kmph in a Greyhound bus in pitch darkness for half an hour or more, but no more kamikaze kangaroos.

BigMike782
09-26-2013, 04:27 PM
My solution was to trade trucks.I bought a new truck in 2010(more truck than I needed) and by 2012 decided I needed the smaller truck.I traded trucks and a few weeks later saw the salesman.He said they sold the 2010(with about 7,500 miles on it) and the new owner hit a deer on the way home.....6,000 plus damage.

bob_s
09-26-2013, 04:27 PM
The only thing I found that stops them is a bullet.



From my personal experience cars, trucks, and the occasional bike did just as well, though much more costly than a bullet.

Alistair Hosie
09-26-2013, 04:33 PM
I am fascinated by the dead deer you talk of lying on the road.Is is legal to hit a deer then leave it for some unsuspecting driver to hit again and again.I should realy think this is dangerous and also doesn't anyone think of eating them?That's the first thing that would be done here as we have many deer in Scotland especially in argyll.

johnl
09-26-2013, 05:22 PM
In Ar they have a road kill law. You kill it, you can take it home and eat it.

rws
09-26-2013, 06:10 PM
So, it sounds like the best thing to do is get VERY bright running lights to use when no traffic is coming. Sound doesn't seem like the answer. And slow down. I'm doing that now, if it we're daylight I'm sure I would see more middle fingers than I care too!

The sign thing....not so much.

So does anyone know of affordable BRIGHT running lights to mount?

Wayne Sippola
09-26-2013, 07:22 PM
I drive a 91' dodge diesel, and it provides plenty of noise for the deer and has very bright headlights. Going to work in the dark a few years back (60 mph), a deer ran across the highway - I didn't see it in the lights until it was about 5' directly in front of my truck. The deer took out the grill and right headlight, spun around and broke it's antler off on the side of the truck putting in another small sharp dent. Cost me about $400. A few years before that, driving through a small valley, a deer ran into the side of my mini-van. I heard a bang, saw a deer's face in the driver side window. Broke the mirror, but no other damage. Both were in Saskatchewan, where hitting deer is pretty common. A guy from the next town over was paralyzed when one came through the windshield.

I've also hit a few birds with the vehicles, and a few dozen birds flying.

Wayne

wierdscience
09-26-2013, 08:42 PM
Are deer as stupid as antelope?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-EYfgmXxTA

:D

Worse when the Rut is on,but then most of us males do stupid things trying to mate:D-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp6yh8geQ8E

SGW
09-26-2013, 08:46 PM
What Willy said...it's the ones you don't see. I've never hit one, but one evening I was driving along in the dusk and suddenly with no warning there was a deer RIGHT THERE, seemingly about 5' in front of my headlights. No time to react, but the deer was going full bore and somehow got out of the way fast enough.

One time I was driving in northern Maine and came around a curve. There was a dead moose...and a dead pickup truck.Front end was totaled.

wierdscience
09-26-2013, 08:57 PM
I am fascinated by the dead deer you talk of lying on the road.Is is legal to hit a deer then leave it for some unsuspecting driver to hit again and again.I should realy think this is dangerous and also doesn't anyone think of eating them?That's the first thing that would be done here as we have many deer in Scotland especially in argyll.

Alistair,it's fairly common where I live to eat road killed Deer if they aren't busted up too bad.All depends on how they were hit by the vehicle.
Most times if it's a car or small truck that hits one the driver ends up calling 911 and either the cops,tow truck driver or volunteer firemen will pull the dead Deer off the road so it's not a hazard.

dalee100
09-26-2013, 09:09 PM
Hi,

I hit one more deer with my old '97 Dodge pickup and it's an Ace. Most star-crossed, (or deer whacked), vehicle I've ever owned. Got number 4 last fall while pulling a tandem trailer with an H Farmall tractor on it. Doing 60mph at 9PM, the big doe left me no reaction time. And she pretty much exploded on impact. Not so much as a sandwich to be salvaged Alistair. Otherwise I eat what I can save.

Deer whistles work - they seem to draw them. Best thing is to keep eyes open and head on a swivel. Try to avoid travel around sunrise and sunset. As that seems to be their most active movement times.

dalee

MaxxLagg
09-26-2013, 09:33 PM
Well, the only way to avoid hitting them is to drive slow and pay attention. Even then, that won't always work. That being said, the best advice I can give driving in deer country (doesn't apply to moose) is the advice I gave my kids when teaching them to drive; when you see a deer, whether it is in the road or on the shoulder, is to scrub as much speed off as quickly and safely as you can. Force from the impact isn't linear and the more speed you can get off the better. If impact is inevitable, while still trying to scrub off speed, square up and hit that sucker! DON'T, DON'T, DON'T swerve to avoid it (unless you're truly only going 10-15 MPH). More people are injured and/or killed swerving and hitting something immovable like a tree or bridge abutment or losing control of the vehicle and rolling it than hitting the deer. I can get them another car.

saltmine
09-26-2013, 09:33 PM
Out here in the West, We used to have somebody from the homeless shelter come out and pick up the animal. Many times, one of the Public Works employees would draw the duty, usually me..

One friend of mine, who does a lot of Elk hunting says that any animal struck by a car or truck isn't really good eating, because the impact of the crash made the meat "bloodshot".

During the 15 years I worked at the fleet shop, we only had 1 Deputy hit a steer. He was running "code3" and clobbered the steer with a 1992 Dodge 3/4 ton, 4X4 pickup. The steer had to be put down, but the Deputy continued on to his call after we picked up the steer and called the owner. They had meat for hamburgers at the homeless shelter for about a week.

Bluechips
09-26-2013, 10:42 PM
Well, the only way to avoid hitting them is to drive slow and pay attention. Even then, that won't always work. That being said, the best advice I can give driving in deer country (doesn't apply to moose) is the advice I gave my kids when teaching them to drive; when you see a deer, whether it is in the road or on the shoulder, is to scrub as much speed off as quickly and safely as you can. Force from the impact isn't linear and the more speed you can get off the better. If impact is inevitable, while still trying to scrub off speed, square up and hit that sucker! DON'T, DON'T, DON'T swerve to avoid it (unless you're truly only going 10-15 MPH). More people are injured and/or killed swerving and hitting something immovable like a tree or bridge abutment or losing control of the vehicle and rolling it than hitting the deer. I can get them another car.

I have been driving to work in a very rural forested area at 4:00 AM for 25 years. In that time I have totaled 5 cars and trucks on deer. I have also had more near misses than I can remember. The info in this response very good and is what I do. The deer I have hit have been in a dead run when they crossed the road, as if they were being chased. They were quite literally in the road before I could even hope to react.

Two of the worst wrecks that I have came upon on my daily drive where caused by drivers swerving at high speed to avoid the collision. I now just leave a little earlier and drive slower in an attempt to minimize the damage.

mygrizzly1022
09-26-2013, 10:45 PM
Hi all. Here are couple of pics of one lucky guy, and one not so lucky moose!

http://www.weeville.com/moosewreck.htm

bert

Sun God
09-26-2013, 11:27 PM
The answer is hunt more ;)

elf
09-27-2013, 12:26 AM
That's the first thing that would be done here as we have many deer in Scotland especially in argyll.

Do any wear plaid? :)

achtanelion
09-27-2013, 01:00 AM
I am fascinated by the dead deer you talk of lying on the road.Is is legal to hit a deer then leave it for some unsuspecting driver to hit again and again.I should realy think this is dangerous and also doesn't anyone think of eating them?That's the first thing that would be done here as we have many deer in Scotland especially in argyll.

Mostly the deer aren't left on the roads, but in the ditches. I do have a story about that though.

When I was younger, I was coming back from the lake with friends. I had taken off my trunks and wrapped a towel around myself before getting in the car to keep from soaking the seats. As we were driving along, we saw a hit deer in the road, so I had the driver stop and put on his four way flashers. I got out and dragged the deer to the ditch. While I was doing so every single driver was honking and waving as they went by. When I got back to the car, my friends informed me that there was a head size hole in the back of the towel and my dangly bits had been in display the whole time.

As for the meat in a hit animal being bloodshot, they mostly bleed intermuscularly. The exact point of impact may be too damaged for humans (it's dog heaven though) but most of the blood collects in the fascia that surrounds the muscle groups. That gets trimmed off while processing anyways, so no big deal. The biggest issue is not to hang the carcass like you would a shot or slaughtered animal because the pooled blood will soon begin rotting.

J

Evan
09-27-2013, 01:12 AM
Deer have good binocular vision and excellent hearing. They aren't good at detecting things that are still but excellent at seeing things that are moving, day and night. Their vision is fine in general. I know that from spending a lot of time very close to them nearly every time I am outside on our property. They are semi tame and will let us get with 5 to 10 feet without taking off. Within our valley there are probably something like 50 or so deer. They are very good at staying out of the way of vehicles and I haven't seen one killed in the valley in years.

My wife almost ran into a cougar a couple of years ago as it was chasing a deer across the road. It ended up jumping over the hood (bonnet) on its way across. Bear are also around here but don't get hit often. This is open range country in a lot of nearby areas. That means when you go across the cattle guard on the road you are in unfenced country with cows that may be on the road. If you hit one you have to pay for it. Insurance doesn't cover you in open range.

Deer get hit on the main hiway all the time. People don't watch out enough. When you see a deer on or near the road you better have a good look for deer number two and even three somewhere on either side of the road. I have driven hundreds of thousands of kilometers on these roads and never hit an animal except a domestic cat once.

vincemulhollon
09-29-2013, 08:56 AM
My body shop friend says he sees just as many deer collision that come in with the "deer whistles" as he does without.

See that's the problem with statistics, I live in about the same area and by observation less than 1 in 100 vehicles has a deer whistle, so if anything this proves deer are attracted by the whistle. Or the noise spooks them into panic so they run around like crazy instead of just hanging out calmly.

The real answer which no one wants to hear is the fastest drivers cull the slowest deer. So if you're the fastest guy on the road, you're eventually going to cull the slowest deer the hard way. Its a statistical thing, sometimes the slowest grannie driver in the world will hit the fastest deer anyway, but normally its a slow moving deer or more likely a fast moving car. It works about the same way with school kids and pet dogs too.

Evan
09-29-2013, 12:17 PM
I think the main reason deer get hit is because they think vehicles are harmless. That isn't stupid either. A lot of deer do cross the road and they are not hit until they are. Up to that time the vehicles don't try to hit them, they clearly try to avoid them. That should make it seem that vehicles aren't trying to get them. That may even make them think the best thing to do is to stand still since they can't guess which way the vehicle is going to go to miss them and the best is to stay in one place.

The deer in our valley are very good at staying out of the way. They are "vehicle educated" except the young ones. It takes them a while to learn to stay in the ditch when a vehicle is coming in their direction. They aren't as stupid as you may think. They do learn about vehicles.

Last night my wife drove home late and saw many deer crossing the road including a 4 point buck. She missed all of them.

The Artful Bodger
09-29-2013, 03:24 PM
Two rabbits and a hedgehog standing on the roadside. The Hedgehog says I'm too scared to cross cos I'll get splattered! Rabbit one says naaa, all you have to do is walk into the road, wait for a car then when one comes just make sure you are in the centre of the headlights and the car will pass over you without a scratch.

I'm not convinced said hedgehog!!! So rabbit two says I'll show you.

He runs into the road, a car comes and he positions himself in the middle of the headlights. The car passes over him without a scratch. Okay!! says hedgehog, I'll take your word for it and try it myself. Hedgehog walks straight out into the middle of the road and gets SPLATTERED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rabbit one looks at rabbit two and says "BUGGER!!!!!!!!!!!! Trust a Reliant Robin to come along!"

Evan
09-29-2013, 07:09 PM
http://ixian.ca/pics10/robin.jpg

Astronowanabe
09-29-2013, 07:13 PM
I am fascinated by the dead deer you talk of lying on the road.Is is legal to hit a deer then leave it for some unsuspecting driver to hit again and again.I should realy think this is dangerous and also doesn't anyone think of eating them?That's the first thing that would be done here as we have many deer in Scotland especially in argyll.

In Oregon you are forbidden from keeping deer that are hit basicly because poachers would just say all that meat in the freezer came from a road kill I picked up ... but I'm not out in the country so it is not much of an issue.

lynnl
09-29-2013, 07:19 PM
Why do deer cross the road anyway?:)

...suppose they're chasing chickens?