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COWBOY LOGIC : Daylight deer crossing does some damage: Sunday smash

TOWNER, N.D. - Deer season started a couple weeks early for me this year. I got a doe, but it cost a bit more to bag than the average deer. Instead of 75 cents worth of lead and gunpowder, it took $3,200 worth of steel and plastic. It was probabl...

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TOWNER, N.D. - Deer season started a couple weeks early for me this year.

I got a doe, but it cost a bit more to bag than the average deer. Instead of 75 cents worth of lead and gunpowder, it took $3,200 worth of steel and plastic.

It was probably about time. I've had a 37-year streak of not hitting deer, and that's pretty good, especially since I've learned I live in one of my nation's top 10 states for the likelihood of a collision with a deer.

I've had some close calls, close enough to leave a little deer hair on the bumper, but this is the first time I actually made full, plastic-cracking impact.

It happened in broad daylight, just before 9 a.m., heading to church on Sunday with my wife and offspring (really). I turned to my wife to engage in a little leisurely conversation and - bam! - the deer jumped out of the ditch and got us.

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It was bound to happen. One insurance company's data says I have a one in 125 chance in North Dakota of bumping into some venison on our roadways. Not one in 57 like West Virginia, but good enough odds to put us in the top tier.

I'm in a pretty bountiful region. The adjoining states of Montana, South Dakota and Minnesota made top 10 status as well. Manitoba and Saskatchewan have plenty of deer in their headlights, too, I understand. We live in the venison basket.

Car repairs

Like a lot of folks, I carry insurance for just such a possibility. So, like a lot of folks, I only pay a modest amount of curious attention to what the repairs are going to cost. I know they're only going to get the $100 deductible out of my hide. That's why I buy insurance.

I'm close to average. Average cost of a deer wreck is $2,900; mine was just a few hundred more than that. Who'd have thought molded plastic would be so expensive?

If I didn't have insurance, you'd have heard some screaming when the body shop man told me a headlight for our van was $800. I wonder if the headlight really would cost that much if we were all paying cash for the repairs. . . .

I'm guessing that if fender benders were paid for with cold, car-owner cash you'd see a lot cheaper headlights going into them. You'd probably see some people driving around with two cell flashlights duct taped to their front fenders.

As it is, we shrug our shoulders, say, "well I guess we gotta fix it," and tell them to order the parts. And we wonder why our insurance premiums go up.

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Deer seasonAutumn is the high season for cars hitting deer. Something to do with deer migration and mating, they say. Too many really important things going on in their deer brains to worry about looking both ways before they cross the street. So look out.

I hope to harvest my next deer with a rifle instead of the car. Deer season just opened in my state, so the population should get thinned down enough to decrease the car collisions a bit.

I read in the newspaper that there's a place for those of us who live in fear of hitting a deer on the road. Hawaii. It was number 50 on the list of our 50 states with a one in 16,624 chance of a car/deer collision. That's a nice feather in their cap since the state has so little else going for it, except all that sunny beach and paradise stuff.

Maybe when I get our car fixed I'll try to drive over there and check it out.

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