What's it like to hit a Deer?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by MrBob, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. TheBear

    TheBear Adventurer

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    Try Australian wildlife. Fortunately we have few deer so far (introduced by idiots) but if you hit a wombat it's like smashing into a sugar bag full of bricks. Kangaroos will sideswipe you, and emus are totally unpredictable except they'll get you in the end! Eagles lifting off roadkill can be fun, too. My rule is simply stay off the road between dusk and dawn.
    #81
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  2. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

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    My story was told years ago in Faceplant, but since I have been brought into this conversation....

    Was on a late 2011 July lunch ride with a buddy and were in Western PA traveling down a chip sealed (hate those roads) back road. It was a beautiful day, around 11:30 or so. All I remembered was the lovely sound of my Ducati ST3 in the cool late morning air. Life was good! I was leading and came down a small hill with a flat straight section ahead. A row of pine trees lined the road on the right. My Ducati was burbling ever so nice and then I woke up in a ditch on the side of the road! WTF happened is what I thought as I slowly regained my senses. I tried to move, and realized I was pretty busted up. Moved my head to see what was around me and see the deer laying not 10 feet from me, telling me what had happened. Looked the other way for my buddy and I see him tending to my bike a bit further down the road. Laying there, I started trying to move limbs to asses the damage. Right leg moves, left leg moves, right arm moves and left arm moves. OK, maybe I can ski this coming winter. Seriously that was my first thoughts. Not my poor wife or daughter or even my bike! I was concerned that I might miss my 37th consecutive ski season. Yes I am a ski nut, even more so than motorcycles.

    My buddy notices that I am now awake and comes over telling me to lay still and that help is on way. He proceeds to tell me I was out for 10-15 minutes. It seemed the ambulance was their immediately and I was taking a bumpy and painful ride to the hospital in Franklin PA. Now I was dressed in full leathers. My pants were cut off at the scene, but they were able to remove jacket and boots without cutting. At the hospital I remember getting X-rays and MRI. Everyone kept asking me where is the road rash? Actually I did have a small area on my right knee where stitching in pants failed and elbow where the armor had moved and leather worn through. They proceed to tell me that I have at least 11 rib fractures, but were concerned about excess fluid in my heart lung cavity. Up till this point I wasn't scared. I knew I was busted up, but all my limbs were OK so I wasn't overly concerned, just dumb luck, get insurance money buy new motorcycle.

    Then I got the scare of my life! I assume the lead Dr. poked his head into the group surrounding me and said something to the effect, "Mr. G we can not account for the excess fluids and believe you may have an aortal tear. We are not equipped to handle that here. There is a helicopter on the roof waiting to fly you to a Pittsburgh trauma center where they are equipped. Please sign here." Next thing I know I am in the air for another bumpy ride, this time in the air.

    At Pittsburgh, they put me through another round of tests and pictures and then got some good news. Your heart is just fine. The excess fluids are from surrounding tissue damage. You will be just fine.

    The next day, my buddy Don who was with me, drove to Pittsburgh to visit. This is when the rest of the story was filled in to my missing memory and the part @SlipChip was referring to.

    Don tells me that as we were traveling down that road, as I was passing a break in the tree line on the right, a deer was leaping across the road and speared me in the back, like a linebacker spearing an open receiver. The impact broke 7 ribs in the back, and also slammed me into the tank which broke several more in my chest. He knew I was knocked out as I laying across the tank but the deer did not bounce off, but fail behind me on the pillion and was now straddled across my bike. I was going about 50 MPH when hit, so the gyroscopic effect was strong, and the bike wobbled but straightened out and kept on going down the road, with me unconscious and a deer along for the ride! As my hand was no longer operating the throttle, we started slowing down, with my buddy riding alongside not knowing WTF to do!! Eventually, I started sliding off the side of the bike with my helmet banging off ground and then fully fell off resting in the ditch where I awoke later.

    However, the bike kept going, now riderless and swerved in front of my buddy who fortunately was able to swerve and stop in time. He estimated I went at least 1/4 mile after impact before falling off. This was confirmed when I returned a week later on the way home from hospital where I had my then wife drive to the spot so I could take a look around. I saw the spot where I ended up, as the deer carcass was still there. I walked down the road looking for spot of impact where the break in trees was and found a fork reflector and a piece of plastic from the busted up fairing. Crazy!!

    Of course all my non riding friends and relatives who came to visit, asked me if I was now done with those donorcycles? I just told them that I wasn't even out of motorcycles as I had 2 more at home! I ended up buying a Triumph Bonneville T100 with insurance money to maintain my 3 bike garage.

    8 weeks later I was pretty much healed up and yes I skied like a maniac that ski season!!

    Rick G
    #82
  3. MrBob

    MrBob Cisgendered Supporter

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    That’s quite a story. Broken ribs are some of the worst pain. Ask me how I know.
    In telling my story, it’s frustrating because people assume the deer ran in front of me. No - the fucker speared my van in a vulnerable spot. I never saw him.
    #83
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  4. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

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    Like you, I never saw it. Total blindside! Still have no memory of accident. Just a nice ride, then wake up in ditch.

    The old saying of don't ride in dawn or dusk as that is when deer are active, no longer applies. Due to a lack of predators in populated areas, deer have been adjusting their habits. They are no longer afraid to come out during the day. I see this at a local park near where I live. You will see deer out roaming any time during the day.

    We now have to watch diligently for deer 24/7!!

    I have also added breaks in tree lines as another potential hazard when scanning the road.

    Be safe out there!!

    Rick G
    #84
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  5. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I Supporter

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    Good luck with the van! I hit one about 3yrs ago, saw her coming from my left and slowed but at last minute darted across, no glass sheetmetal or airbag deploy, air dam ~intact with gorilla tape. :bluduh
    #85
  6. Jack D

    Jack D Been here awhile

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    Driving a company car early in the morning heading to Carlsbad from Albuquerque while my colleague was sleeping in the passenger seat when a rabbit ran into one of the wheels. My colleague kind of woke up and asked "What was that?". I answered "a rabbit". Later on it happened again, same question and answer. Farther on I passed 2 pickups that were heading to their favorite deer hunting area as this was the day before deer season opening. Then I saw a small group of deer at the side of the road, about the same time I was hitting the brakes one of then just jumped into the street and stood there. KA-BAM! My buddy fully woke up and asked "WHAT WAS THAT?". The hunters came by and stopped. One of them said "We spend thousands on hunting equipment and you guys pick one off armed with nothing but a briefcase". Later in life I was riding my ST1100 from California heading to Cedar City, UT. I saw a deer running down hill on a steep slope headed into the road. When the deer saw me it tried to make a u-turn on the slope. It was hilarious watching the deer trying to get traction to run uphill while momentum was pushing it downhill. And yet another time I was heading east from Jacob Lake, UT when a big grey deer jumped into the road and landed right in front of me and jumped again just before I would have hit it. There was absolutely no time to react, the deer was there and it was gone. Someone mentioned eagles and roadkill in Australia. I was riding north into the Outback and came across 2 eagles chowing down on roadkill in the middle of the road. They saw me and gave me a look that seemed to say "Go around, we're not moving". I did and they kept eating. A little later 2 emus ran across the road in front of me, they look strange when running. I did hit the brakes but it wasn't close. That evening I was talking to a local and she was commenting on emu stupidity. She said her car was totaled when an emu ran into the side while the car was parked. I still have the young moose story from Alberta and the prairie chicken that hit my footpeg in Oklahoma story, the buffalo herd in Roosevelt NP, and 2 bear stories but I will save those for the campfire stories. Motorcycling has sure been interesting.
    #86
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  7. bcguide

    bcguide Adventurer

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    I've hit Deer moose and black bear.
    Hitting a bear feels like Hitting a large block of wood.
    #87
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  8. badge502

    badge502 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Do your best not to do it on a motorcycle. I hit a large doe this summer... Had the cruise control set on 72, and never touched the brake. She jumped out of a deep bar ditch, and she landed in the oncoming lane. When her feet touched down, her next leap was right onto the front tire of my 2018 Multistrada, with her legs straddling the forks. Plastic body parts went everywhere, and the oil cooler (located in the nose of the bike) exploded, dumping about 4 liters of oil on the front tire and brake. I rode it out (I have a witness too!) and pulled over on the side of the road. It messed up my wrists and totaled the bike, but that was it. Got me another Multistrada about two weeks later.
    #88
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  9. rollinrob

    rollinrob Long timer

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    I have 2 co-workers with cars in the shop from hitting deer now. Few years back I got 2 in one week in my 1996 F150. Bounced right off the big chrome bumper. A co-worker was behind me on one dear strike, deer was not dead but almost. He pulled out a pistol, shot it and threw it in the trunk of his wife's new car. He said she was not too happy, but food is food.
    #89
  10. SourKraut

    SourKraut Long timer Supporter

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    I was reading this thread yesterday morning while recalling a few near misses on the motorcycles and a totaled VW Rabbit. Some motorcycle writer (Egan?) had called them “demented linebackers” and it’s really the perfect description. I never saw the one that totaled my car, just remember an awful explosion of metal, glass and plastic out of nowhere. Then nearly hit one yesterday returning from getting my truck under coated, in season since rifle season ends tomorrow at sunset.
    #90
  11. Otis the Sasquatch

    Otis the Sasquatch Long timer

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    Another "told it before but it belongs here...".


    Cousin's friend at his place, looking at a head mount that really didn't look like much, so he asks "First one?"
    "Yeah."

    What'd you bag him with?"
    "My 4-4-2."

    "I've never heard of that caliber."
    "Oldsmobile."

    .
    #91
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  12. MrBob

    MrBob Cisgendered Supporter

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    I never saw the deer that took out my van. He crashed into the side, and if not for the fur caught in the twisted metal, it could have been an elephant.
    #92
  13. Bt10

    Bt10 Long timer

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    Not sure if I posted elsewhere on this forum... About 3 yrs ago, my uncle at approx 56 yrs old hit a deer at 55mph on a newer yamaha star venture v-twin. No damage to him at that moment, but went down and was only wearing a half helmet and smacked his head on the pavement, brain swelled, unconscious, and died a day later in hospital.
    #93
  14. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    I've hit deer a bunch of times...they've always come out of my peripheral vision so suddenly that there wasn't even time to get off the gas/throttle.

    The worst one was back in 2000 when I was riding Highway 10 in eastern Wisconsin. It was about 10:00 pm and I was impatient to get to Manitowoc. A deer appeared in front of my SV650 from the right and I didn't even have time to get on the brake. I was riding about 70 mph.. I got knocked into the left lane and was in a huge tank-slapper. The bike stabilized itself and I never went down.

    Somehow the right handlebar missed the deer but the right-hand luggage was torn off and the rear subframe was bent to the left. Some bikers came by and arranged to haul the bike to their place where they put me up for the night. The next morning I fabricated new luggage mounts and bent things straight again.

    Killed the deer. I didn't even get scratched. I made it all the way to St. Johns, Newfoundland after hitting the deer the first day out.
    #94
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  15. eddie bolted

    eddie bolted BOING!!! Supporter

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    #95
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  16. Heyload

    Heyload Bent but not broken Super Supporter Supporter

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    I hit a raccoon on Saturday. Night, pouring rain. 15 mph under the speed limit, taking it easy and BAM! A brief glimpse of Rocky doing a flying squirrel impression as he was launched across the oncoming lane into the weeds.

    He was one solid sumbitch, busted the lower air damn and fascia pretty damned good.

    RIP, Rocky.
    #96
  17. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    Yellow bellied marmots are the newest thing in speed bumps if you're in NE Washington. Catch big air.:rofl
    #97
  18. scottdc

    scottdc Been here awhile

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    Never hit a deer and never on a bike but when we lived in Alaska one night it was dumping snow during our commute home, visibility was terrible, and a moose stepped out into the road just far enough that we nailed its head with the passenger side pillar of our VW Beetle. There was a moose head shaped dent in the pillar about two-inches deep and a crater in the windscreen.

    Amazingly the moose survived, at least for a little while. He sat down in the snow for about 15 minutes, then got up and wandered off into the woods. Once the troopers arrived we tried to track the moose to put it down but we never found him. The beetle was fixable and insured but was bad enough I was surprised it didn't get totaled.

    I've been a lot more cautious about watching for moose and deer ever since.
    #98
  19. woofer2609

    woofer2609 Less flow, more Gnar

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    Research in Michigan has shown that late October dusk to midnight is by far the most dangerous time to ride/drive in regards to deer strikes. Deer are even stupider when in rut.
    This is a photo of my buddies truck on the way up to his cabin; he drove, I rode my XT225. He literally passed me 15 seconds before this happened. He was 2 cars ahead of me and I saw the deer jump over the divider on the side of the road. He dislocated his arm when his airbag went off. It was a big deer, but happier it hit him than me. Truck was written off.
    20170525_183734.jpg 20170525_183618.jpg

    Attached Files:

    #99
  20. ADK

    ADK .

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    What's it like to hit a Deer? I hope that I never have to find out. :deal
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