Sunday night, I got deer all up in my grill and not from chomping down on a tasty venison steak.  Luckily, I was not the one who hit the deer, I was the victim of second hand deer smear.  All I knew was the truck in front of me swerved, animal hair flew up in my headlights, and BAM! The front end of my car was airborne.  A flat tire and an empty donut left me waiting in the cold for a tow and a ride. On the way home the only thing going through me head was the scene from Zombieland when Woody Harrelson screams "I want my Caddy back!"

According to State Farm Insurance, Montana is 2nd in the nation for Deer collisions with 1 out of 65 drivers hitting a deer last year. This statistic was only topped by West Virginia with 1 in every 41 taking their bumper to Bambi. My question is, how many people know what to do after close encounters of the furred kind?

What To Do After Hitting a Deer

  1. Move Your Wheels. If your car is still functional, move it off the road and flip on your hazards. As a courtesy, if you can position your car so drivers will see your flashers BEFORE they come up on the deer, do it.
  2. Make The Call. Dial 911 and let them know where you are, the situation, and the status of the animal.  This allows them to dispatch the proper authorities (local police or highway patrol), lets them know if they need to send medical assistance, and if they need to send FWP to take care of the animal.
  3. To Move or Not to Move. This one is a tough call.  A lot of the time you will hear flat out "Do not touch the animal." This is a good rule of thumb to avoid injury and catching bacteria and parasites from the recently deceased.  Personally, if I was positive that the deer was dead and I wasn't going to suffer the same fate or leave with a hoof print on my face, I would drag it out of the roadway. Try to use gloves, an oil rag, or a plastic bag around your hands to minimize contact if you can.
  4. Driving On. After all of the essentials have been checked off your list, and your vehicle is not completely demolished, always look to see how much damage has been done.  Look for flat tires and leaking fluid.  Listen to see if you hear any strange noises that were not there before. Pop the hood to see if there are any cracked or torn components. If you don't see anything to keep you off the road, carry on. If there is significant damage, don't try to complete the journey, call for a tow.

Good luck drivers and beware of vengeful deer!