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How To Avoid Deer? #5242613 10/17/19 05:41 PM
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Passport1 Offline OP
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I hit a deer a few years ago with my Ford minivan and it made a mess of the front end. This time of the year in eastern North Carolina the deer are hyperactive. Deer are crepuscular. Sometimes I can't get around driving at dusk or at night. There are 'Deer Crossing' signs on the roads everywhere but apparently the deer don't pay attention to them. Maybe the hunters drive them out of the woods.

What is your strategy for avoiding these potentially suicidal creatures?


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Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242622 10/17/19 05:51 PM
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Elkins45 Offline
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My strategy is unsuccessful. I’ve hit six and my wife has hit even more. She hit one driving her new car home off the dealership lot that came close to totaling it.

Drive slow, keep your eyes peeled. I think the deer whistles you used to be able to get actually help, but I haven’t seen them for sale in years.

Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242624 10/17/19 05:54 PM
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JLTD Offline
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It's not suicide. They see you coming, and since your car is at least 3-4 times faster than their normal predator, they stand there thinking you can't close the distance in the time that you do, then they're surprised. They're also waiting for you to make a move.

I've found a move to either side will get them to run the opposite direction*....doesn't take much and since most cars are 6' wide and the lanes are 12' wide you have some decent room there. Make it quick, to make it very apparent to them which way you are moving.

If I'm driving through a deer laden area, beeping the horn every 1/2 mile or so lets them know you are coming, so they're looking at you rather than being surprised.

Knock on wood, never hit one yet in almost a million miles.



*works for squirrels, too.


I use the overseas manual to choose my viscosity.

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Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242630 10/17/19 05:59 PM
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Kira Offline
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Keep you head up (just like in the woods) and keep it MOVING.

Heaven forbid you slow down.....at least contribute to bettering your chances!

See deer? slow to a near stop and look around. They do cluster.

TRUE TALE

A friend picked up his new car and drove 78 miles home.

The next day BANG. A deer instantly appeared. Completely unexpected at probably 13 mph on their road.

Be alert, know where you are (increases success odds), go slow.

Deer seem not to know which end is up sometimes. Also, people say silly things about deer. They assign human attributes to deer.

If their noses are so super, why do they want to be near my car? I guess they get used to things.

What they do is "trigger". They're explosively reactive. I'm not sure how wily they really are.

edit: Just read JLTD's horn blowing advice. Sounds good to "let 'em know you're there". That was included in the driver's ed movie, "The Smith System".

Last edited by Kira; 10/17/19 06:08 PM.
Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242639 10/17/19 06:06 PM
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Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242648 10/17/19 06:15 PM
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Kawiguy454 Offline
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My brother only saw a flash and hit a deer on his ZX-11 ~35mph with the daughter on the back. The deer wrapped around the front completely crushing all the plastics and a hoof hit and broke his toe. he stayed up and the deer was dead.. Most people that get killed get killed by trying to avoid the deer. If you see it coming just brake and let it happen ...don't drive into the ditch or over the cliff.

Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242651 10/17/19 06:17 PM
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BobsArmory Offline
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Secret to not hitting deer? Slow down when the sun sets and be aware.


Keeping the forces of evil at bay
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Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242653 10/17/19 06:20 PM
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JohnnyJohnson Online Content
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I've had great success with my method. At night in deer country you slow down if you still think you want to drive 60 MPH at night good luck with that.

Last edited by JohnnyJohnson; 10/17/19 06:21 PM.

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Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242691 10/17/19 07:13 PM
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FirstNissan Offline
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Lived in OH and PA for quite a few years, deer in that area were plentiful during mating season. Slow down, in dark areas use your high beams, if you come up on a deer you have to watch for the ones that you don't see.


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2019 Toyota Camry
Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242696 10/17/19 07:20 PM
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UG_Passat Offline
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There is no strategy. Slam on the horn and the brakes.

They don't look both ways before crossing.

Last edited by UG_Passat; 10/17/19 07:20 PM.

2016 VW Tiguan|APR Stage 1|Neuspeed P-Flo|Osram CBI|Redline 5w30
Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242707 10/17/19 07:34 PM
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walterjay Offline
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Be alert and on guard. Slow down.
Use Deer Alert whistles on your car. They do help a lot but are not foolproof.
If you see them close to the road lay on your horn.

Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242710 10/17/19 07:39 PM
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92saturnsl2 Offline
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I've only hit one deer, it was while a friend and I were moving from VT to CO about 15 years ago. Hit it on I-70 doing 70mph near Zanesville, OH. Crushed the front end pretty good on the '91 Nissan pickup we were driving. Took us two days to piece the truck back together with new parts (radiator, fan, headlights, few other bits), and lots of zip ties & duct tape! We made it there in one piece.

I don't do anything to avoid deer specifically, other than be wary and watchful after the sun goes down until the early morning hours. I still maintain the speed limit, I figure if it's going to happen, it's gonna happen regardless of whether I'm doing 60 or 40. Had a close call a couple months ago with one darting out in front of me, but the timing was such that she made it across before I hit her. More often than not, when I see them near the road, they stay still and aren't bothered by me passing by them.


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Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242724 10/17/19 07:53 PM
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qdeezie Offline
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Originally Posted by Passport1

I hit a deer a few years ago with my Ford minivan and it made a mess of the front end. This time of the year in eastern North Carolina the deer are hyperactive. Deer are crepuscular. Sometimes I can't get around driving at dusk or at night. There are 'Deer Crossing' signs on the roads everywhere but apparently the deer don't pay attention to them. Maybe the hunters drive them out of the woods.

What is your strategy for avoiding these potentially suicidal creatures?


You have to watch out for both deer and bears when you drive. Good luck on avoiding both!!! I know of people that have ran into both down east.

As for a strategy, if your headlight bulbs are old and decreasing in performance, replace them with new bulbs so you can spot out Bambi and Co. a bit earlier. Sometimes Bambi and the fam will literally run into your car even if you come to a complete stop for them to go. They'll look at your car and run into the door (at times). That's about the best you can do out that way.

My point of reference: Originally from that part of the state and I still visit often.


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'13 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE
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Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242729 10/17/19 07:59 PM
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WobblyElvis Offline
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Two days ago at 6 a.m. raining and windy, my wife totalled our old 06 Malibu right here in Toronto. About 200 yards from a park, a deer ran off someone's lawn and struck the left front corner of the car that was doing about 36 mph. Headlight gone, rad and ac coil gone, hood folded under itself and left front fender pushed back so you can't open the driver's door. Air bag did not deploy but the wife is alright, Deer was immediately lifeless. I don't see how you are ever going to prevent this kind of thing. At 70mph it gotta be a killer.

Last edited by WobblyElvis; 10/17/19 08:02 PM.
Re: How To Avoid Deer? [Re: Passport1] #5242733 10/17/19 08:02 PM
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fsdork Offline
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Settle in at a safe following distance behind another vehicle, ideally a transport truck. It's possible one could still get you, but it's a lot less likely with someone else clearing the way.


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2008 Ford CVPI 4.6L - 133K km
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