It is something Michiganders try to avoid every year - hitting a deer. I know it is possible year round, but when deer season hits, the number of accidents involving deer go up astronomically.

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I know first hand the panic of hitting a deer. I hit one in Linden when I was 16-years-old. The deer came right out in front of me on Silver Lake Road. If you know that area, it is not a place deer are common, even back then. Nonetheless, I hit one. This may sound like the Twilight Zone to some of you, but at this time there were no cellphones. Can you even imagine? I had to knock on a door and ask the homeowner to call the police. That did not go well. The little old lady that answered the door looked absolutely terrified of me. It took me like 20 minutes to explain to her what had happened, and to finally get her to call the police.

Once an officer arrived, he determined the deer was dead. He then asked me if I wanted it, I did not. All I could think of is it would come back to life and attack me in the car. Plus, think of all the blood - I did not want that in my car.

Thankfully, that was the first and last deer I hit (knock wood). I know accidents do happen, but here are some tips from the Michigan State Police to help you avoid hitting a deer,

  • Stay aware, awake, and sober.
  • Vehicle-deer crashes occur year-round, but be especially alert in spring and fall.
  • Signs are placed at known deer crossing areas to alert you of the possible presence of deer.
  • Deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are there are more waiting.
  • Be alert for deer, especially at dawn and dusk. If you see one, slow down.
  • Don't rely on gimmicks, flashing your high-beam headlights or honking your horn to deter deer.

If a crash is unavoidable:

  • Don't swerve. Brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel, and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.
  • Pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers, and be cautious of other traffic if you exit your vehicle.
  • Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance company.

Drive safe, and here is to a great hunting season for all of you deer hunters.

SEE MORE: Animals That Are on Michigan's Endangered Species List

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