About a week ago, a deer ran across the road in front of me on Hilham Highway. This was not the first time a deer has crossed my path on that stretch of road nor was it the first time this year that I’ve had a near deer experience.
As the day turned to dusk on Tuesday, Feb. 22, I was driving my wife’s Neon toward Livingston on Old Highway 42 when I topped a hill less than a mile from City Lake and was faced with a “no win” situation. A herd of deer were crossing the road.
I remember seeing four or five – I don’t know how many because it happened so fast. All I know is that they were completely blocking the road with some entering the woods on the opposite side as others entered the road from the woods on my side, and two or three going across the road in between.
All I could do was hit the brake, hold tight to the steering wheel to try to stay in my lane, and I know I closed my eyes as I knew I was about to be hit with an airbag.
And where there should have been an impact, because I saw the deer at the nose of the car, nothing happened. The rear passenger side tire locked up with a screech, and turned the car slightly right, and when I opened my eyes as that split second of impact did not occur I was aimed at the ditch, so I turned it back straight. A glance in the rear view mirror revealed the deer herd still crossing the road.
I couldn’t believe it. I had just driven through a herd of deer just feet in front of the car.
I believe the deer directly in front of the nose of the Neon turned aside just in time to avoid the hit, and somehow the little Plymouth threaded the needle through that opening.
I like to think I am a good driver, but I am not that good. I know God provided a way through those deer. You can believe whatever you want, but I know. Driving through there without touching a thing was impossible, yet it happened.
Last week I was back that way and saw that my tire mark is still on the highway. It’s only about a foot or two long, but it amazes me how short of a distance it was.
And the car isn’t immune to deer. Just a few years back a deer jumped over the roof of it on Byrdstown Highway out of the yard of Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Karen saw it coming but I didn’t. That deer knocked the mirror out of its housing, dented the driver side door and the top of the passenger side door, but thankfully broke no glass at all. We were completely unharmed.
I am not telling this to say the deer can’t get me, because I was riding with my Dad when he hit a deer many years ago in his ‘61 Chevy pickup. Again, we were unharmed, but the front of the truck was smashed. We went to calling it “Deerslayer” after he hit another deer with it about a year later in the same area. The herd still goes through that area to this day.
No, I don’t have deer immunity either, but in these incidents I have been blessed.
What I hope everyone takes from this besides being thankful to the Almighty for his protection in times likes those is that deer are out there at all times of the year. So be careful out there.