This happened last night, as the sun was setting, which is the time the deer tend to come out. My other half was out walking our dog, when he saw a roughly 250 lb. “rackmaster” buck lying down in the grass along our property line. It’s highly unusual to see a deer lying down in the open at any time of day. Ben went nuts, as he always does when he sees a deer, and the thing got up and ran away — on three legs.
We knew it had to have been hit by a car, even though we can’t see the road at this time of year without walking all the way out to it. No police cars had gotten there yet. A few minutes later, two police cars arrived. My other half went out to speak to the police about what he had seen. One cop was headed in the opposite direction of where the buck ran, so at the very least, my other half saved the police a lot of time finding it. Led the cop back to where he had last seen the buck, and they both saw it lying down again. The buck got up again, ran down into the woods at the back of our property (and our neighbor’s), and somehow managed to hop the stream. Probably didn’t go much farther before lying down again. Not sure whose side of the property line it ended up on.
The good news is that the cop decided the buck did not have to be euthanized, because in his experience, they can live another three or four years with a broken leg. More time saved for the cop, because didn’t have to discharge his firearm, and file the paperwork related to doing so. He’s seen more than a few of these incidents. I’m sure his judgment is good.
The collision occurred across the street from our neighbor’s house, not in front of ours. That car wasn’t going anywhere. Its front end was pretty badly smashed in. I’m pretty sure everyone in the vehicle is okay. No ambulance was ever called. A tow truck was.
If nothing else, the driver or owner of the vehicle will have a police report to hand over to his or her insurance company, to back up the claim.
Although I’ve never hit a deer, I have had a few close shaves. Hit the brakes, don’t swerve, and wait to see if there are any others following it. There often are. And, especially be on the lookout for them at dawn and dusk.
That buck may well survive for another few years, but he won’t be able to run as fast as he used to, and his days of fighting for the ladies are over.