Oh, Deer!


A chance encounter of the wrong kind

By Luke Robinson

So there I was on an average Tuesday, driving southbound on I-59 near Valley Head, AL. Just minding my own damn business while simultaneously being alertly tuned in to my surroundings behind the wheel of my 2012 Ford Taurus (Yeah…That’s right….  I do pretty, pretty well for myself, thank you).

It was around, say, 7:25 in the morning and I was thrilled to finally be back in sweet home Alabama. After all, I had been burning up the road since the previous Thursday. From Alex City to Columbus, Ohio then on to State College, PA and, finally, back home. It was a whirlwind of a long weekend.

I had done dang well driving those 1,900 miles, too. No blowouts. No road rage moments. No “high speed driving awards”. Heck, I only had one guy shoot me a bird. I usually get flipped off more than that on my daily lunch break!

Despite the predictably nasty northern weather, me and my car had held strong. I was cruising to an early arrival back home.

The interstate was wide open. The sun had just begun to shine over the pine trees. Ahhhhhh…..It was going to be a beautiful day….

Until….

WHAM!!!

Not the iconic ‘80’s band unfortunately (although, now that I bring it up,  I do recall listening to “Careless Whisper” just a few miles earlier…).

No, I had hit something. Or, rather, something hit me.

As I was near the exit’s overpass, my immediate thought was someone had dropped a rock or old television from the bridge above onto my hood. I am serious. There are crazy folks that have done such. Remember McCaulay Culkin in The Good Son?

My car scraggled (I know that’s not a word, but it fits) to the side of the road and–almost as quickly as my initial “rock from the overpass” theory was formulated–my brain pieced together the actual hard, southern truth: I had hit a deer.

A mutha @#[email protected]% deer! On the mutha ^&*@# interstate.

Now, I have hit deer before. So have you I am sure. We all have. Like getting trapped in a bad conversation at a high school reunion, they are unavoidable and inevitable.

But we humans have a tacit deal with the deer. We are cool with hitting them every 4-8 years with our cars as long as it’s on a county road or OCCASSIONALLY on a highway. Interstates are supposed to be off limits!

At least, I thought so. The rotting four-point buck carcass that wound up 25 yards behind and 15 yards to the left of me begged to differ.

Now, my minimal deer knowledge tells me that early November is when deer are in the rut. You know, their “sexy” time.

Well, this particular buck must have gotten a text from his main squeeze saying, “my parents aren’t home” cause he zoomed perpendicularly across I-59 like he was late for a sleigh pullin’.

I say he was zooming, but the fact is I have no idea. I didn’t see him until he was approximately 9.56 feet in the air after impact.

As a side note, did you know there are an estimated 1.5 MILLION deer in Alabama? One. Point. Five. MILLION! That’s 6 million hooves! That’s one deer for every three people in the state!

Venison meatloaf for everyone as far as I am concerned. I am ready to expand hunting season to 366 days a year, 8 days a week and 25 hours a day.

The problem is I don’t hunt myself. Never have. I am not good at killing anything except people’s happiness and I don’t need a gun for that… just my unique social awkwardness.

There’s no aspect about hunting that appeals to me. I am not a vegetarian or a vegan or a vitameatavegamin (an I Love Lucy reference for the older crowd), I just can’t shoot anything. I will stomp a roach into oblivion, but I tear up at the idea of running over an opossum. It makes no sense.

However, after this accident, you can bet your bottom buck that the next time Bambi comes on I will be hoping for the Quentin Tarantio-style alternate ending.

So, here’s a quick shout-out to all the people who do hunt: You guys are rock stars. Rock stars with powerful rifles. I just need you to play more “concerts,” because if I am hitting deer in the interstates that means there are just too many damn deer!

Leave a Reply