Oh Deer

A commenter said

Most of all, if you’re driving, keep alert for the wackos on the road and stay SAFE!

but he didn’t say squat about deer so Murdoc ran over the sumbitch that jumped out in front of us. And only ten minutes from the hotel.

Van out of commission, crew safe.

Continue mission.


  1. Thank God you all are safe. The van can be replaced. My daughter and I had a slightly different, but almost fatal, run-in with a deer when we were living in North Carolina. We were out for a walk on a cold crisp day and something spooked a deer in the adjacent woods. It came right at us, head down, at full speed. It was only the fact that we both froze that it missed us by inches. We immediately returned home and changed our underware!

  2. Mike: No clue. I barely saw the thing. No chance to react in any way before we clobbered it. Considering the (relative) light damage I suspect it might have been a smaller one. My wife saw it and said it wasn’t a baby but didn’t think it was terribly big. Hit it at 65 mph on cruise and were in the middle lane with traffic around us, so it took us a bit to get slowed down and over to the shoulder. Tried to see what happened to the deer, but didn’t try to hard when I didn’t see it right away. Other cars weren’t swerving so I wonder if it ended up off the road or somehow survived and got away. I hope it lived so that it can return to its herd and tell the others ‘don’t F with Murdoc when he’s on vacation’. Toejam: Right you are. It’s tough to feel ‘Wow, we’re real fortunate here!‘ but we know we are. Once we were past the deer and it didn’t come through the windshield or go under the van, my biggest concern was the traffic around us. Thankfully, the car behind us was a ways back and I didn’t slam the brakes or swerve dangerously into vehicles around us. I told the state trooper that it was probably better that I didn’t see it in time to react so that we hit it straight on at speed rather than panicking and trying to avoid it. There were several vehicles around us and it’s hard to imagine things going well if I had tried to ‘do something’. Though I think the van is structurally all right, the hood, grill, and radiator are totaled, along with various other stuff in the very nose. Hard to see at night, but pretty messed up. Anyway, another thing we’re fortunate about is that no air bags went off. We’ve known folks who have had them go off for a lot less (older cars) and if ours had gone off things would have been disastrous.

  3. Yeah, I clocked one a couple of years ago. Never saw it until after I hit it and at that point the remains weren’t pretty. At night you’ve got little chance of seeing the deer unless it looks at you and you get the eye reflection.

  4. I came around a corner one night on a highway winding through the foothills of the Cascade mountains as a herd of elk were crossing the road. I was in a little Datsun. I’m sure 2 or 3 of the elk out weighed the car. Fortunately I was able to get it stopped short of a collision. It was the night before hunting season opened, and naturally those were the only elk I saw that year. Damn things didn’t even move as they saw my car speeding toward them. They just stood there looking at me. I’m sure we were both thinking, ‘you don’t want a piece of this.’

  5. Murdoc, Well, at least you were within walking distance of the motel… 🙂 Seriously, I’m very glad you both are okay. There are few enough decent blogs these days that losing you would put a serious dent in my online reading… sigh. Might have to actually go back to those.. what were they called? Oh yeah.. books! Heh. You ever get up to Maine you can see some serious damage. Here abouts the deer tend to stay in the woods. It’s the moose who think they are indestuctable and wander out where they ought not to venture. Let me know if there’s anything to help with. Respects,

  6. Tim: Actually, we’re in Maine right now. Hit that sucker just south of Portland on I-95. We’re staying on Mt. Desert Island.

  7. I bagged a buck last year with the front-end of my Nissan while on the way to work. Damn thing planned his jump from the bushes into my lane perfectly. These insurgent deer are getting better all the time.

  8. MO, Lady Lethal and I honeymooned at Bar Harbor and spenet some time in Acadia. Great country. Um, so long as you’re not limited to living in any of the double-wides that lay beyond the well kept touristy areas. I never hit a deer, but have come close many times. THey are just a part of life in rural MA. Turkeys, too, are commonplace. They’re faster than you think (ask my cat, who was chased energetcially around the house by a turkey hen for a bit: full, flat-out, tear-assing stride and that turkey was right on his heels), but don’t tend to dart into traffic so I don’t know how they compare to a car. Now, moose- well, this doesn’t help bro but if you had clipped a moose it might have been fatal. For everybody. They’re just the right height that a vehicle takes their legs out, then the body smashes into the cabin. You know, I saw the remnants of a moose vs tour bus encounter once way west on the MA Turnpike. Gruesome, man. Effing gruesome.

  9. Hit one many moons ago. Sucker committed suicide with my car in the middle of the night. Jumped out of the ditch right in front of me. Gave the carcass to the guy that gave me a ride to civilization, as I was about 30 minutes out in th middle of nowhere. Suprisingly enough, I was able to (with a couple of trips to pick-and-pull, and a little jurry rigging) get that little Chevy Sprint (the tougher predicessor to the Geo Metro) back on the road. They made those little cars tough.

  10. Only peripherally related, I saw ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ the other day. I hope your incident wasn’t as inflammatory as the one in the opening scene of that movie. Or that, if it was, you at least put the buck out of its misery.

  11. Did you quote Father Murdoc from the time a Rabbit ran over some Canadian geese? We just got back from a little road trip ourselves. Went to Germany, but were a little south of the G-8 summit, so weren’t part of that crazy group of protesters. Anyway, just catching up with you and glad to hear you are OK. Hope things go well getting back home. Say hello to Mrs. Murdoc and the little murdocs.