I used to live in deer country, and hit two in a five year period. Luckily for me, both times was behind the wheel of a car, but I’ve had plenty of ass-puckering close calls while riding a motorcycle. Deer are utterly unpredictable, and no one has invented a foolproof way of keeping them on the side of the road. If Bambi decides she wants to cross the road, she sure as hell isn’t going to look both ways before doing so.
The above video was filmed at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia. According to Two Wheels Blog, the rider that struck the deer, Tim Wilson, suffered a dislocated shoulder, a dislocated finger and some cracked ribs. All things considered, the crash could have been much, much worse.
So what can you do to be safe in deer country? Damned if I know. Some people recommend deer whistles, but there’s nothing other than anecdotal evidence to prove they do anything at all. Be especially careful at dawn and dusk, but remember that deer can be on the move at any time of day. Scan the shoulder for movement as often as you can, but never think that you can predict what a deer is going to do. If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, it’s probably best to avoid mashing the binders; if you drop the front end of the bike and hit the deer head on, you’ll probably just increase your chances of going over the bars.