Hit a deer today! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 7:03 pm Thread Starter
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Hit a deer today!

Hi,

Well, this was a first. Today around 7am on the way to work I hit a deer. I guess if you have to hit a deer, this is about the best outcome (maybe not for the deer).

I was a mile from home going around 40mph on a two lane country road. I saw a brown blur off to my right side and started to reduce speed. I then saw a deer jump a fence and enter my lane. The deer then slowed down almost to a stop right in front of me.

At that time I had both brakes on hard (wet road but the bike did not skid and remained straight). I recall a brief thought of how much this is going to hurt when I go down with this heavy bike. If I were to guess, I believe I was travelling about 10mph upon impact.

The front of my bike struck the deer broadside and my bike came to a sudden stop as the deer tumbled down the road and ended on its back with its legs kicking in the air.

The bike remained upright and I put down the kickstand and got off. I watched the deer for a minute or so until it got back on it's feet and wandered around my bike in a daze. Another car showed up and stopped as well. After a few minutes the deer wandered across the road and into the woods. It did not appear to have any broken legs but it was confused and may have internal injuries.

As for my bike, I cannot find any damage at all. No deer hair, scratches... nothing! I believe my front tire struck the deer and that is what knocked it down and may have helped reduce the impact to me and the bike.

For lessons learned, I admit I was screwing around with by Bluetooth on my helmet when I first saw the deer. Maybe had I been paying more attention to the road I would have spotted it sooner. Also, I did not try to avoid hitting it. I don't think I had time but had I tried to avoid it, I believe I would have gone down. I think hitting it as I did helped me remain upright.

AND, it was a small deer!
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post #2 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 7:10 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

WOW!! You need to go buy a lottery ticket. Glad it was a nice one. Did you have to get new underwear?
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post #3 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 7:59 pm
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can't believe there is no pics......you were VERY lucky.
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post #4 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 8:23 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

One of my biggest fears here in northern MI. Glad you are OK.
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post #5 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 8:33 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

You lucky S.. WOW.

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post #6 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 8:35 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Man o man if it has to happen then that is the way to do it. Scary

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post #7 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 8:55 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

What you did was exactly right. I was born and raised in eastern Montana. When I was a teen hitting deer was such a common occurrence we didn't even bother to tell anyone. The only people who ever got hurt were those that tried to swerve around the deer or those that were going so fast the deer came through the windshield.

I have never had the misfortune to hit one on a bike. I guess that shows how much more attentive we are on bikes than when in cages.
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post #8 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 9:14 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buff8stuff View Post
What you did was exactly right. I was born and raised in eastern Montana. When I was a teen hitting deer was such a common occurrence we didn't even bother to tell anyone. The only people who ever got hurt were those that tried to swerve around the deer or those that were going so fast the deer came through the windshield.

I have never had the misfortune to hit one on a bike. I guess that shows how much more attentive we are on bikes than when in cages.
Yep. Hit the brakes, steer straight ahead, and hope the deer moves. You are almost certain to crash if you attempt to swerve around it. You might want to check the distance between your front tire and your lowers. Make sure you didn't bend the fork tubes.
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post #9 of 30 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 11:59 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

A lot of people hunt all season and never get their deer. Good shot but the deer should have never walked away. Just glad your ok.

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post #10 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 12:10 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Glad that you and the bike are ok!

Back when I had the FJR, there were a couple of guys (midwest) who said that they had split a deer in half and remained upright. Lots of damage to the bike but they walked away. Here in central Washington, we have large mule deer and elk. Don't think either of those could be split in half, no matter how fast the Feejer was going (and live to tell the tell.)

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post #11 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 1:12 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Glad you came out of this OK Chris. I've had a few close ones but never made contact.

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post #12 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 6:45 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Good outcome Chris !

Last year Judy and I were running the Natchez Trace Parkway and around noon decided to take a side road off just south of the I-20 exit point to check out a curvy road seen on the GPS. We were making about 35 mph on a 2 lane road with ditches on either side. There were no trees or anything around as it was open farm land, and suddenly Judy exclaimed DEER!!! in the helmet intercom. I instantly got on both brakes and noted the animal had apparently jumped up out of the ditch onto the roadway and was just to my right and in line with the front tire running with me. She then glanced over her shoulder and moved directly in front of the bike and all I could see was her head and tail waiving at me. At that point I was fully on both brakes hard and the ABS was cycling as designed and I was expecting contact and testing the ATGATT setup. The deer then moved to the left slightly and the bike eased by as she slowed a bit and looked over her shoulder at me, and then ran right beside the left side of the bike a bit. At this point I kicked her in the butt and she dove off the roadway to the left. To this day I am still not certain where she came from, other that she may have been laying in the ditch for some reason.

Thank you Brembo and BMW for a fine ABS system !


As I tell my MSF classes all the time, deer are freaking insane.

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post #13 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 6:46 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

I hit a deer a few years back on my 05 LT at about 40 MPH. I didn't go down. When I cleaned off the deer slobber there was no damage.
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post #14 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 7:02 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

I've never hit a deer, not even in an automobile, but it's one of my biggest fears here in Ohio. So I do feel I need to hear these stories to help keep me sharp and on the lookout, so keep them coming.
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post #15 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 8:32 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Yep, we grow them BIG here in Ohio!

Coming back from a bike night this summer, about 40 minute ride, my nephew and his girlfriend were on his 1200 Sportster, both with no helmets, had a near collision with a deer, he said it was so close he could see the flies on it's nose.

When I ride with my buddies on poker runs, they always ask why I ride so far behind them, as they ride side by side from bar to bar. I say I certainly DON'T hope it happens, but if a deer happens to jump out in front of you, (usually riding 6 or eight in a group) you're all going down, I'll be able to stop.
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post #16 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 10:52 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

The guy I bought my bike from was a retired Detroit police officer and had put two "Deer Whistles" on the bike. I don't know if they work or not, but as my dear departed daddy used to say, "couldn't hurt". Now if they just made one for stupid drivers.

Glad you came out OK.

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post #17 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 10:55 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

I hit one also. Sat. night about 10:30 near Possum Kingdom Lake. Came out of the trees from my right. Just when it looked like I cleared, the deer spun back around right in front of me. Wham ! Speed was 45 to 50. I remembered reading on this forum to stay straight and dont try to turn so did exactly that. Did not go down. Took out the front fender and side lower fairing but bike seemed to ride OK and after checking it out, rode 120 miles back home. Now awaiting insurance adjuster.

Thanks to whoever posted the tip on the forum. Saved me lot of pain.
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post #18 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 10:58 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Hmm.. These creatures have to be taken seriously. I have hit two mooses with a car. Car became "Ex" and I survived with some minor injuries. My fellow (LT) biker hit wild reindeer with LT. Fairings gone, some minor injuries to the co-drivers leg, multi kÄ repairs to LT. Nice detail were the deer-hair coming out of front speakers... Easy to laugh afterwards...

Born to be wild so why not

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post #19 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 1:15 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Good job on keeping your mind and your bike straight!

This part of the year is when the bucks start getting all love-drunk chasing the females around. I see a lot more dead on the side of the road this time more than any other.

I've not hit one on the bike yet, but took one to the windshield several years back... luckily the side post kept it from coming through. Almost took out one on the Harley a couple years back though. So close I could hear it's hooves scraping the ground.

An excellent testimony on why you need to always keep those eyes scanning though.

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post #20 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 1:23 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey View Post
Yep. Hit the brakes, steer straight ahead, and hope the deer moves. You are almost certain to crash if you attempt to swerve around it. You might want to check the distance between your front tire and your lowers. Make sure you didn't bend the fork tubes.
+1 when it comes to animals, you are far better off to brake hard and maintain course. Trying to avoid can make matters worse in a big way. Other vehicles and stationary object are the ones to avoid.

Glad you are able to discuss with all faculties and moving parts in good shape.

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post #21 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 6:45 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Glad it worked out for you.Sunday on my 74 RD 250 Had a close call slow speed about 40 mph. Glanced down at tac,looked up saw and herd hoof's on road NEAR Miss ! Did get the Heart Rate up a bit.
If a deer was unavoidable in my path I would go full throttle through the sucker to reduce deflection.
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post #22 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 7:28 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Sounds like a close one. Glad it worked out ok.

Tis the season!
I've slowed for a couple this season.
Remember, they usually come in pairs (or multiples).
Especially around dusk & dawn.

Be careful out there!

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post #23 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 9:18 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

So here are the statitics state by state for the likely hood of hitting a deer - assume this is for all vehicles


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post #24 of 30 Old Nov 11th, 2014, 11:11 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Same thing happened to me Oct 21st of last year. I hit her with my front tire and broke her hind legs. The bike's fine, as am I.

No bent forks as I've put over 14,000 on the bike since then, including a 1000 mile round trip to Austin.
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post #25 of 30 Old Nov 12th, 2014, 12:02 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

I read that the deer is the deadliest animal in the U.S. They kill more people than any other animal. I think they actually kill more people than all the other animals combined. If you jam the brakes and steer straight, you have a good chance of survival. If you're in a car or truck, you'll almost certainly be ok unless the deer comes through the windshield. Saw that one time. That was one too many.


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post #26 of 30 Old Nov 12th, 2014, 12:49 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post

To this day I am still not certain where she came from, other that she may have been laying in the ditch for some reason.


As I tell my MSF classes all the time, deer are freaking insane.
I had a similar experience going to lunch at 12:30 PM one day except I was in my car. Two deer were in ditch on right side of road. I didn't see either until one apparently spooked and decided to run across the road. I hit the brakes and was able to stop without incident.

Sitting there stopped I noticed that some water had collected in the ditch, so I figured they must have stopped for a drink.

Ever since, I look for water and/or deer when driving or riding alongside ditches.

Ted

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post #27 of 30 Old Nov 12th, 2014, 1:18 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

Sounds like you missed out on a free lunch

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post #28 of 30 Old Nov 12th, 2014, 10:44 am
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Re: Hit a deer today!

About a year ago I was heading into Graeagle CA. Going from Hwy 49 to Hwy 89. Just after making the turn I saw a Deer come out of the forest on the left. With no traffic I decided to head directly towards the deer where it was when I first saw it. I figured it was going to cross the Highway and by the angles it seemed that we would be meeting up with one another soon. Ended up actually crossing over double yellow (no traffic) and sure enough it ran across the highway. Don't have any experience with deer, but I figured it would try to run into me. I felt very happy that I didn't hit it.
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post #29 of 30 Old Nov 12th, 2014, 5:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Hit a deer today!

I would love to say that due to my high level of training I evaluated my options and picked the course of action with the lowest risk of injury, but in reality I didn't think...... I just reacted.

I will say that growing up in the woods of Northern California, I was taught to avoid the urge to swerve should a deer enter my path, but this is the first time I've ever had one jump in front of me. Maybe that thought was in the back of my mind, but if so, it was not a conscious decision.

As for taking photos, I honestly thought about it but with on coming vehicles stopped watching I thought it would be frowned upon. The deer was a small doe and things may have been different had it been a larger animal.

I'm just glad we don't have free range camels like they have in Saudi and Kuwait. People end up dead after hitting those beasts. Nothing like traveling along at 80mph and seeing a heard of camels running down the freeway.
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post #30 of 30 Old Nov 12th, 2014, 9:03 pm
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Re: Hit a deer today!

You were lucky. Glad it worked out for you. I totaled my 03 when I hit a deer at 60 but I did stay up and ride it out...........

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