An up close encounter with a deer
It was Sunday, Oct. 29, and I had just nished doing the rst part of closing up the cottage. e fridge had been emptied, cupboards cleared. e items that I gured I would be using during the o -season had been packed up. My car was loaded and I was heading back to town. e day was beautiful. Lingering on the deck would have been welcomed but I wanted to leave well before dusk... knowing that deer tend to move around about that time.
My two small pups had settled down on the seat beside me and were looking out the window at the car in front of us. I noted that the vehicle was a Honda SUV. I was also driving a Honda but mine was an older Civic – top of the line when I bought it. I named him Antoine and my GPS was named Antoinette. She served as the designated back seat driver when needed.
e car in front was moving at a pace a bit under the limit. We had entered a section where the speed limit is 90 and since the pups were enjoying the ride and I was in no hurry, I was content with going 80 to 85. Suddenly Antoine was jolted... big time... and I saw the brownish neck of a deer slide past the windshield on the passenger side. is was followed by bits of my right headlight shooting over the top of my car. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that hunting season had begun just two days earlier.
I always keep both hands on the wheel so I stayed in my lane. e pups had bounced a bit but quickly were back in their seat. I slowed way down as it dawned on me what had happened. I thought about turning around to check on the deer... then decided against it.
First, I realized there would be nothing I could do if the deer was injured, and I certainly did not want to see an animal in that state. I also remembered I had tucked my dogs leashes into the trunk and was concerned that they might be excited enough to jump out of the car and run loose. Another factor was Antoine. I knew he had been damaged and I wasn’t sure that all uids were going to stay in place. I decided to keep going, albeit quite slow.
We made it home. I got out and looked at the front end and thought, “is isn’t good.” Even though the air bags had not gone o and the windshield was still whole, the hood was crumbled, the bumper broken, the side fender pushed out of place, and the headlight totally smashed. I made my way into the house and rst called the police to report my situation and then asked who could check on the deer... and put it out of its misery if injured. I called the RCMP who then put me in touch with the DNR. I was a bit upset to hear that they would only send someone out to that area if they got a call from another motorist about an injured deer. I guess they gured the deer was dead.
I called my insurance company – and was very happy to be assured that I would not be considered at fault. I was told that a rental would be provided for me by the next morning. Even before the appraiser came out to look at Antoine I was informed my vehicle would likely be a write-off and I should start looking for a replacement. I gured that would be the case. Antoine was an old boy, and even though he received tender loving care his monetary value likely would not match the cost of repairs.
After a bit of running back and forth I narrowed my options down to two vehicles, and made my nal choice in time for the go-ahead from the insurance company. My new - to me - but gently used vehicle is a she. As soon as I saw her a name came to me. She is in very good shape and quite beautiful.
I still feel really sad about the deer, and more than a little mi ed at the hunter(s) that likely chased it into my car. I will miss Antoine. He served me well for many years, and in the end his sturdy frame protected me and the pups. As for giving my vehicles a name... doesn’t everybody?