Friday, May 08, 2009

Deer Strike!

Last Saturday Lois and I went in to visit Kim and S'kha, taking our Zimbabwean friend, Mike, along. Mike had taught Kim over 20 years ago. now Kim is professor of African history with a double PhD. Mike still lives in Zimbabwe, dealing with power cuts and a lack of running water. He came over for his son's college graduation, giving us a chance to visit in the city and renew old friendships.

We had a good evening, and headed home as the sun set. North of the 49th parallel, on a Spring evening (or in what passes for Spring in Manitoba) that means driving around 9:30, so that we approached our home town after dark.

Two or three miles north of home Lois suddenly yelled, "Stop!" Now she has called out surprising things sometimes, such as the other morning when she told me to get something from the car outside. Turned out she was still asleep and the request was part of her dream. Not this request, however. I hit the brakes, and a deer passed lightly in front of us. I thought we had dodged the danger, but then we saw a second deer and felt a significant thump. The sound of the impact was enough by itself to shake us all up.

I kept going. After 10, so close to home, one dead deer (I thought): why stop? At home we checked the damage, which was remarkably slight. The passenger side mirror was gone, and there was some slight scoring of the passenger side doors. The repairs come to $1,200; but the damage was less than I could have expected based on the sight and sound of the unfortunate deer.

We're glad to be home and grateful for so little harm. I hope that the deer just bounced, and went on his way a bit startled. But I'm afraid: a snapped neck seems more likely.


KGMom said...

Well, I am glad you are all OK. Are deer strikes a frequent occurrence in Manitoba?
Do you remember Noel Falk--he was in my class at Messiah, then returned to teach in biology. He did his doctoral dissertation work on deer strikes on I-80 when that highway was first built.

Climenheise said...

There are a fair number at this time of year. Of course, our population density is so much lower than south-central PA that you should have more strikes than we do. I do remember Falk, although not all that well.

Such strikes are common enough taht Autopac (Manitoba car insurance) treats them as without repercussion on your rates or driver's license.