Reader Question: Deer Strikes?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Tom asks: What happens if you hit a deer? Did I hear right that the insurance mafia won’t pay off if the accident isn’t described just right?

My reply: It’s pretty much the same as happens when you hit another car or any other solid object. The difference being you can’t give the deer a ticket – and while it’s not common for you to get the blame, overtly, it is not uncommon for such an incident to eventually result in a premium increase.

A deer strike can easily cause thousands in damage and even total a car, depending on the size of the deer, the speed of the car and where the deer strikes the car.

I’ve had two such incidents happen and in both cases I dealt with it myself – as is my general policy because I trust the insurance companies to be fair as much as I trust Fauci to be honest.  I was lucky in the case of the first strike because it involved my ’98 truck that had a metal bumper and I was able to just pull it back into place. The second strike – which happened to my ’02 – caused more damage because it had a plastic front end. But rather than file a claim, I paid out of pocket.

I recommend doing the same unless the damage entails more than say $3,000 or so in damage – at which point what they pay out will probably compensate for what they make you pay in.

.  .  .

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  1. I had a deer strike many years ago. Caused $4500 damages. Paid by State Farm and considered a Comprehensive claim. YMMY of course. Betcha they don’t cover that stuff now. After all, an insurance company is in the business of collecting premiums and not paying claims….

  2. Blasted a deer near the house coming down a mountain rd. Happened durring matting season, was dark at 5:00, my foot was on the brake the entire time and the car was going no more than 35mph, probably even less, by the time i saw the deer it was already under my front driver’s side wheel. $3700 in damages to my wife’s suv. The kicker was she was at the shore, i had the choice to take my car or her suv to pick up the kids at daycare. I took her suv, she was pissed. Ironically had i taken my car from the location i struck the deer instead of going under the wheel it would have gone over the hood of the car and into my lap. That was over 7 years ago….. amazing part is, in almost the exact same spot 4 weeks ago i had a massive branch come down and slam into my windshield while i was moving, also at about 35 mph completely cracking it from 1 end to the other. Thankfully it didn’t come through the glass.

    • Hi Antilles,

      I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t had their day ruined by a hooved rat. Too bad these things aren’t marbled and don’t taste better!

      • Biggest issue in nj is we don’t shoot enough of them so the population is out of control. And now the snaggle toothed weasle gov has blocked the bear hunt. 10 yrs ago there were no bears in my area now we have bear sightings all spring thru fall thanks to the fact that it is almost impossible to hunt them here, their population like dear is exploding and they have to go somewhere for habitat so theybare moving south and east.

        • I feel your pain, Antilles!

          I’d hunt deer… if I didn’t hate the taste of venison. Everyone says: Just add bacon or ground beef? I’d rather just have the bacon or the ground beef!

      • That’s weird. Our deer are excellent eating and mixing wild hogs with venison makes killer sausage. Of course the wild hogs are great eating on their own.

        I recall many years ago when the US Pork Council had ads calling hogs the “new white meat”. Well, you won’t get white meat from the processed hogs that are fed GMO corn and that bad way they have of processing them, but the wild hog is virtually white meat. They’re excellent eating and esp. mixed with venison for sausage.

        We do have animals I don’t want to eat but want to kill every time I see one. The red wolf is extinct…..supposedly. But in 2001 a friend and I were hunting on our place and 700 yds away was something that could be nothing but a red wolf. A shot from a 7mm Mag missed and he hauled ass but it was a magnificent animal.

        Several years ago I was trucking into a lease just north of Midland, Texas when I came across an animal I had never seen. It was a coyote/wolf cross, reddish and coyote looking too. It turns out somebody had caught a wild red wolf or two and crossed them with coyotes. I saw them all over west Texas and they were always on oil lease land that meant no one would ever be shooting at them(no guns on oil leases). I knew without a doubt they’d be moving into my territory and sure enough, 3 years later I saw 2 just west of the tank by my house. I had a .243 with me(luckily) and about the time I saw them, Cholley Jack saw them and hauled ass being the badass he thinks he is as long as something will run from him. Next thing I know he’s coming out of the pasture with his eyes turn back in his head and doing maximum speed. Both those big wolf/coyotes were on his ass. I turned them with a shot(really thick brush so the .243 is ineffective). He got back to me and lined up behind me. I was glad they were turned since we were no match for them until they cleared the brush about 60 feet away.

        The next year in the late winter I went to see what sort of ducks were on the tank thinking I’d take one and have a great supper. I looked down the creek through the thick brush and saw two grey wolves. Oh shit, I’m thinking, not those Mofo’s. I didn’t see them again but my neighbor to the north saw them and saw the red wolf/coyote crosses too.

        Our country has changed a lot even since I’ve been alive. We’re in the rolling plains which used to be nothing but grass but the Spanish brought mesquite with them and evidently oak too and now this country is pasture you’d best not picnic in and if you do, be highly armed. And we’re so covered up with wild hogs I’m sure everyone remembers my story of a few months ago having a wild sow mad as hell almost run down my pittie and was right on top of me when I shot her in the top of the hindquarter that luckily turned her. I gut shot her and then going up the tank dam having lost no speed, I made a good shot on her lungs and saw a spray of blood before she disappeared. So much for my morning walk. The wife cleaned the cowshit she’d rubbed on CJ’s butt off, I flipped my safety back to safe and came back in, sat down with CJ beside me and drank the first of a few cold ones. I live in the only part of the county that has always had deer as far as I know. Now we have deer running out the wazoo, wild hogs and it wouldn’t surprise me to see any African animal since there are so many high wire ranches around. It’s a way to make more money off land than you could with anything but oil.

        • Dam Eight, i clearly live in the wrong state. Hell, when i go camping/hiking with in bear country my only defense is a 3 1/2″ fold able knife that is clearly visable in my pants pocket and a 6″ fixed blade hunting knife that noone but me knows about in my pack. God forbid you get caught outside your house with a firearm in new jersistan you’ll be looking at years in prison. Hell even when i do take them out to exercise them at the range they need to be locked away unloaded as far away from the occupants as possible, the ammo and mags need to be locked and stored seperately than the firearms and you are not allowed to make unnecessary stops to and from your house and the range. Gas at a station on the way, ok. Stopping at a resturant or store before or after shooting you are committing a felony. It’s almost like we live in different countries, its amazing.

          • Hi Antilles,

            I can – for the present – walk outside, plink at cans or tomatoes with a rifle or pistol in my own backyard. I also carry everywhere I go.

            Virginia’s still ok in that respect. For how much longer is another question.

  3. Deer are wimps.

    The police blotters up here regularly say, “Police responded to a moose-vehicle collision. Driver was airlifted to the trauma unit. Vehicle was totaled and towed. Moose last seen running into the woods.”

    • Hi Kevin,

      Years ago, I was in Alaska driving the then-new Ford Explorer in the back country. I rounded a ben and came upon a Moose. The thing was bigger than the Ford. I stopped and reversed, slowly… .

      • eric, a friend whose husband was a doctor sent me a photo of a call on a deer strike. It was an SUV and the deer had been hit right in front of the driver. The photo was taken from the rear with the hatch door up and the deer balled up in the driver’s side corner. The entire interior was covered with blood, not all of which came from the deer.

        Here in west Texas, nearly everyone has some sort of big cowcatcher like a Ranchhand that’s really tough and heavy but necessary. JUst to give you an idea of how structurally sound they are, a friend hit a grown bull(black)in the dark. It turned the Ranch Hand back to within and inch of the hood and that was the entirety of the damage to the vehicle. The bull was dead since she was doing 70. Now we need them for deer and hogs too not to mention the occasional ostrich or emu. One evening while it was still light, a friend and I were returning from hunting and saw something running along the road. I got to it and it was an emu. I paced it at 30 mph and it just continued to run on the dirt by the pavement. Every now and then it would turn it’s head and look straight at us. We’d laugh like hell since those things looking at you remind you of giant snake eyes. Of course, they’re more aggressive than a snake and will relieve you of YOUR eyes if given the chance.

        We have lots of high fence ranches around so seeing anything isn’t a surprise. I haven’t seen a hyena…..yet but there’s all sorts of African deer looking animals with various types of horns.

    • Kevin, BTW, deer are not wimps. I was headed to take out the trash one night and had a big buck sent me to the house leaving the trash in the barn.


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