When you put 20,000 miles on a new car in the first six months, you tend to bond with that vehicle.

john's 2013 ford escape

When you travel 60 minutes in the dark on a two-lane country road every morning at 4:30 am, you learn to anticipate accidents waiting to happen.

Why? Because deer and elk seem to think the road is theirs, too.

The speed limit is 70 but I conscientiously set cruise control to 55 so as not to overreach my headlights.

And perhaps my nighttime obsession of staying 15 miles under the limit – in spite of Bumpkins in rusty trucks tailgating this timid Floridian – is some consolation because I didn’t run into the deer, he darted up from a ravine and smacked into me.

dented fenderNot that much damage, eh?

The funny-talking gecko thought otherwise, to the tune of $3872.02!

geicko geckoBut I love him, that little green rascal. He made it simple to file a claim online. Click a few buttons – they even had a preset category, “Collision with an animal” – hit enter, and they tell you not only when and where to take your car for repair, there will even be a free rental waiting for you when you get there!

What happened to the deer?

In all my conversations, from insurance adjusters to casual bystanders, not a single person has yet asked me that question.

If I were a sociologist I might be tempted to read into that omission something about cultural predispositions here in rural Montana.

deer hair on fender

😦 😦 😦

24 thoughts on “The Gecko & The Deer

  1. I did the same one very foggy morning. I forget the dollar amount of the damage… pretty steep at the time (around 1985), but the deer got up and ran off into the sage brush. My episode was on a commute out across miles of desert.

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    • I don’t want to play “blame the victim” but it does amaze me that animals seem to think nothing of sauntering into the path of two-ton moving vehicles. Maybe those who survive can pass on that danger to their offspring, but it surely is a steep learning curve. 🙂

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      • Ha! Steep learning curve indeed. With one exception during my life. I gave my husband a 3 week old yellow kitten one anniversary. “Gus” lived 14 years, and stopped, looked and listened before he darted across our road. Once got a broken jaw from a brush with a rear tire, maybe he was in a hurry to get himself another rabbit from the field over there. Never saw an animal do that before or since.

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  2. Just really glad you’re alive. I might not be so less moved about the deer but I don’t know them, and I sense they/it lived through the bump. There are no other John Hayeseses around, take care of the one who’s here.

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    • I have even, last year when I was here, and years ago, when I lived in rural Michigan, anticipated and feared this kind of incident. My predisposed mindset was to never swerve to avoid the deer, you might save the life of the deer but you will roll your vehicle and kill yourself. So I stayed straight and just braced for impact. While braking furiously, of course. And I do not go fast when it is dark. I notch up my mileage bit by bit as the sun creeps up, then drive the posted speed limit when it is fully light. I think I made the right decisions. At least I am alive. 🙂

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  3. Maybe we should talk to Paula Deen about “cultural predispositions” … It seems we all have “predispositions” about the sentient beings we share life with on our planet.

    If I had to make a choice, I agree with Holycowgirl, though I think it’s tough because I know you and didn’t have a relationship with the deer.

    I do love your relationship with the Geico-Gecko … he is rather cute and seems to have found a parallel life we view in “logo land.” Then there is the boo-boo on your car, which some folks give life to with cutsie names, seasonal decorations and loving caressing wipe downs, to the exclusion of life forms.

    Wow … all that streaming so early in the morning, before coffee — and it jump started off one phrase: cultural predispositions.

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  4. Ooph!, Oops! So sorry for your car and for the poor animal. That’s one expensive repair! (Love the car, BTW. It was a Ford Escort Station wagon that survived our being hit by a 1.5 ton Ram, head on left front and we both lived to tell about it!). We live on a twisty, winding road that about a mile down begins to edge the a big reservoir, at one point winding between a rock face and the water. I’ve seen as many as five deer at once there and can’t count the times I’d have hit one, often with her fawn behind her, had I been speeding. Good people in this world drive cautiously, which means being braver than the jerks who rush through life not even looking at what they see! KUDOS for being a “timid Floridian.” I’d take that any ol’ time over a Connecticut “snow” bunny!

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    • “Snow bunny”? Down South we call seasonal winter tourists “snow birds.” I used to get irritated at the way they clogged our roads and eating places, but these days I am very much into seasonal migrations myself. 🙂

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    • I didn’t mean to indict all Montanans and glad you asked. But I don’t know. In my mind I don’t see how anything could have survived that impact. But when I returned in the daylight I could find no trace whatsoever of the accident. I tend to think she crawled away and died out of sight.

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  5. I got “hit by a deer” test driving a vehicle. Glass every where. Made a mess of the passenger door and hood. Strained neck & shoulder that took months to heal up. The deer lost an antler and eventually walked into the woods but doubt he survived. Hope your okay. How about that deer?

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  6. Oh no! Love the fur stuck to the side of your car. We almost hit a deer on a dark country road in Ohio this past spring. I really didn’t want the deer to get hurt, but I really didn’t want to go into the ditch either! That’s quite a hefty bill your little altercation is going to cost you!

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  7. Darn! That must have startled the bejesus out of you, being hit and run by a deer. But almost 4 grand??? With two drivers under twenty on our insurance policy, that makes my stomach turn. No wonder I drink the Pinot!! Glad you were okay. : )

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    • Yes, it was traumatic. My first thought was for the deer. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw one, then two, maybe three. In the heat of the moment I am sure I was an unreliable witness, but I kept thinking I had wiped out an entire family. Guilt! But when I went back there was no trace from what I thought was surely a devastating incident. Strange…

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