Monday, November 24, 2008


So, I'll fill you in about the trip to the Dells a little later. This is the last scene of our vacation. It happened on our way home from Wisconsin.
We had a wonderful week. Swam, played tennis, worked out in the gym every day! Ate out a couple of times during the week, saw some movies, relaxed and bonded with the family - very lovely!

Then, on the way home, we hit a deer. Well, two deer actually. Hitting one is so easy, and 2 at a time just racks the points up a little faster.

We thought that the deer would be bedded down at dark, but apparently, because last week was the opening of deer hunting season, the deer were a little nuts. In Wisconsin, the hunters have to "earn a Buck." What that means is this: They have to shoot and register a doe before they can shoot a buck. And, according to the strange looking, but very kind young man at the rest stop #63 on WB 94, it is also rutting season - could you imagine the stress on those poor does? They are either being shot at by people in bright orange hats or they are being pursued by sex crazed bucks. I guess I'd just keep running, too.

The problem is, when they run across a very busy highway, they get run over.

I don't know how Daddyman did it. We were driving 65-70 mph in heavy traffic. I heard him say, "Oh, sh**!" Then, there was a mighty thump! I saw one of the deer tumble over the top of the van and felt the other one get pulled under the van...

Daddyman, pulled off the highway and stopped the car. We took a deep breath and got out of the car to check out the damage. The front of the family van was pretty much flattened! Amazing! The bumper was pulled under the front end of the car, but both tired were fine.

We felt most nervous about being on the side of the road in the dark on a busy highway, so we started the car and limped along the shoulder to the rest stop - a very lucky .5 miles up the road.

Once there, we could assess the damage a little better - lots of fur and blood, no fluid left in the car, not driveable.

We called my dad who agreed to drive into the night to rescue us in the dark of Wisconsin!
We called the state trouper who filled out a report and called a tow truck and marked the deer (apparently hunters are scooping up the deer that get hit on the road so they don't have to shoot a doe, and can go right to hunting a buck. Go figure!)
We chatted up the watchmen at the rest stop - very nice guys.
We ate sandwiches and cheese sticks ....

And I still feel shaky - two days later.

We are so very, very lucky. Daddyman did exactly the right thing - he didn't swerve. He just kept going. The deer did not come through the windshield. The car did not go off the road. Other cars were not involved. We didn't get hit by another car or a semi-truck as it barreled down the highway. We are all safe and healthy.

But, gosh, I am still shaky!


by Johanna Brandvik said...

thank God!

Pye said...

Yah, deer in Wisconsin are plentiful and prone to crossing the roads at night. Glad to hear you made it O.K.

When I lived there, the rule about does vs bucks was not in place yet - guess the population has thrived in spite of the hunting ...

Venison is highly prized as well, the joke goes that "Wisconsin deer are better than beef because they're Corn fed" due to the predilection to graze in the fields during the growing season.

Iguana Banana said...

I guess you'd be one of the few people that actually understood this little anecdote: "So, did you put those deer in the back of your car and bring 'em home? Venison rocks, man! Like, all the hard work is done - they're dead. Know what I mean?"
Many, many people have responded when we've told the deer v. car story. Now I know why. It's the corn.

Patti said...

here in texas, when traveling on any road other than a major highway at night, the threat of deer is constant. when one learns to drive here, they are given instructions on how to hit a deer. "do not swerve. brake a bit and hit." you guys did it right...thank goodness. so happy it all turned out ok. whew.

and yum, deer sausage.

Nonna said...

OMG! I know just how you feel having hit one last winter. All that talk they drum into us on the news about staying steady and just hit it instead of swerving kicked right in and I did it without hesitation. I felt awful and cried as I watched the deer lay there and struggle in his last breaths of life. I called the police to come and put him out of his misery, but he mercifully died before they got there. It was awful.

I'm so relieved you and the rest of the family are ok! It can be very dangerous. When I saw that picture, I thought for sure I was going to hear about broken bones and other trauma. Thank goodness you are ok!!!

Ahnalog said...

"D'oh! A deer!" (?)

I'll chime in with the others -- Thank God y'all are OK!

Pye said...

Well, you know why they want you to "drive straight and hit the deer?" It's two fold: 1) you're less likely to endanger someone else by swerving the wrong way. 2) If you DO swerve, miss or just clip the deer, and damage the car anyway? Insurance says Toughalucka - and so does the police officer who wants to know why you are face planted into that tree... "I don't see a deer, walk this line for me please".

Lol, as for the deer in the trunk anecdote - yeah I've heard that one :) Interestingly, I recall hearing of police and others looking the other way when a road kill deer goes missing and a family known to be in need suddenly has meat on the table. Gives a whole new perspective on gleaners ...

marsbarn said...

I'm very glad to hear you weren't injured!

It used to be in a part of rural Michigan that there was a call out list of people who would come and pick up fresh deer who had been hit. The deer would be butchered and the meat given to local elderly in need. I don't know if they still do that, or if it was ever *really* legal, but it feed a lot of people who otherwise had trouble buying meat. My grandparents got venison that way a couple of times.

Anonymous said...

I'm shaky just reading about it...can't imagine how scary it must have been. I just called to wish a happy thanksgiving...and checked your blog to see how you're doing...Good gracious!!! How awful! I am SO sorry!!! Thank goodness you're all okay!!! What a stinky way to end such a fun trip. Oh my oh my oh my!!!!!!

Bethany (across the road)