The Most Expensive Deer


IMG_2272After hunting all day Saturday and until 4 on Sunday, I load the family up and drive the 6 hours home.  At the 5 hour 50 minute mark, about 11:30 at night, out jumps a buck from the oncoming traffic lane and waylays my SUV.  Susan and the boys transition from deep REM sleep to ear piercing screams.  I brace for a shower of  glass that never comes. Side airbags deploy.


I neither tap the breaks nor swerve.  Cruise control maintains my speed and I slowly gather my wits.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.  We are less than 10 minutes from home, on a highway that dissects a couple thousand yards of San Augustine grass, which isn’t exactly prime deer habitat.


The Expedition is running fine, but my driver side light doesn’t work.  With 140,000 miles and airbags deployed, I figure it’s totaled.

The irony is not lost on me.  Turnabout is fairplay.  I get it. Officially, the buck caused $12,700 worth of damage–or roughly a guided Dahl Sheep Hunt.  I now have another reason to fill my freezer this fall.

The inside smells like poorly butchered deer.


On a happier note, the next night my dad proves half camo and a Ricola hat is all that is needed to exact a certain measure of revenge on Bambi’s dad.  IMG_2281.JPG

Anybody else hit a deer before?  What’s your most expensive roadkill?


  1. Glad everyone is okay. I’ve never hit a deer but I was hit by a truck that swerved into my lane to avoid hitting a deer. Between the damage he did to my van, his truck, the electric fence, gate and mailbox he took out I figure it was within the 10 to 15 thousand range.

  2. Ouch! I (Krystin) hit a deer once on my way to high school. It was small enough where it didn’t do that much damage, but it was scary nonetheless. Thankfully it was my parent’s insurance that paid for the bulk of the damage.

    In our immediate family, Bixler’s mom hit a moose a few years ago. It snapped the steering column on her car and crushed the roof, and she had to drive it the remaining 13 miles back to Seward in sub-zero weather with no windshield. It was a total loss…more like the cost of a guided Kodiak brown bear hunt since she had to buy a whole new car.

  3. I have, to date, not hit deer, though I’ve come mighty close, driving from DeKalb to Streator late at night in college, and from Madison to the cabin in the wee hours (knock on wood). When I was in high school, my mom was driving us back from a work Halloween party. She took mainly county highways. About 15 miles from home, we came around a bend as the road went between some pastures. Out leapt a 230 lb 8 pointer. We were going about 65 & hit him square. He bent the frame of the ’92 Jimmy, and mom sobbed all the way home. I don’t remember the dollar amount of the damage. But mom hit 2 more deer within a year of that one, before she gave up and got a new truck.

    • yea, I kinda thought I would be salvaging my first road kill deer. Terrified wife and kids sorta killed the moment… Now I am investing in “brush guards” that are supposed to keep you from ruining your ride.

      • My mom refused to keep the buck she hit- only his one hindquarter was damaged. But the meat went to my dad’s buddy (who owned the pasture he jumped out of).

  4. One weekend heading to Llano on a Friday evening I hit a buck, not hard, didn’t kill the deer, but he dented the plastic bumper cover on one side of the truck. The very next evening heading to a charity dinner in Fredericksburg, I hit a yearling calf that belonged to the guy we lease from (we were actually on the way to meet them). The cow ran off unharmed, but my bumper was toast.

  5. I hit one deer that jumped out in front of my pick-up, but me and my wife have each had deer commit sucide by running into our vehicles. About $6000.00 ish to her Esclade and the one that hit my work truck hit it with its shoulder in the passenger door and then for good measure spun around and hit the rear panel with its rear. No full coverage insurance so I still have the dents. Actually this deer failed in it’s sucide attempt. I saw it sprawling and spinning on it’s belly in the side mirror and when I got turned around to check on it, it had made it’s way across a fence and was slowly walking away. I feel for it now when the barometric pressure drops just before the rain. Both deer that were killed went to the freezer. My brother also brought one by just recently that they had hit on the way to church, lost a hind quarter on that one, sigh!

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