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Oh, those doggone deer


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Thought I would give everyone on this board another reminder (that you probably don't need) but had an encounter with the four legged kind on Nov. 7.


East Tawas, MI. While riding from the State park into town for dinner, had a 200 lb. Doe come out of nowhere and take me out. Have no memory of the incident since I was knocked unconscious and got a Level 3 concussion.



After already surviving a 10 point Buck encounter in 2004, this has seriously questioned my desire to ride anymore. That's not a decision to make at this time, but I do know one thing. There's just too many damned deer around. And they come out of nowhere at times to wreak havoc. I was purposely travelling slow (about 30mph) and watching for deer but this one just came out of nowhere.


Doing better now after a four day stay in the hospital. Have some small contusions on my lower back but nothing that won't heal over time.


Once again, my Shoei RF1000 saved my life as did my old Paris Dakar jacket and boots and gloves. ATGATT is strictly enforced and once again it saved my tail.


So please, please be careful. Until we kill about a million deer in Michigan, it's just not safe to ride here. Our do-nothing Governor even raised the hunting permits on out of state hunters. Duhh!



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Glad you're ok. 30 mph and still bad? I guess I better slow down even more! How close to the edge of the road was the foliage? I wonder if I have a false sense of safety when the greenery seems far enough away.

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I hope you heal well and fast. I can only imagine what you've been through.


My brother just drove through a "bunch of deer parts from multiple animals, all over the road".


Four words:

Hunting Season Deer Mating



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So sorry to hear that you had another accident with a deer. Hope you get well fast.


I checked with the Michigan DNR to see how much a deer hunting license would cost and was truely shocked, residents pay $15.00 and non-residents pay $138.00 for a service that most states are in need of. I would happily take down a dozen if they would let me, but at that price...not a chance.


Get well.

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Hey RPG,


I'm glad you're ok. That is number one. It sucks when you try to be safe and control everything to minimize these types of things from happening and they still do. I know the area of the incident. I spent some quality time salmon fishing at Foote Dam. There are deer by the gross up there. I recall a time in the early 90's where you couldn't find one for nothing. Take your time and get well. The bikes will be there.



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I feel for you. Just two weeks ago I picked up my new BMW car in Dallas. Spent a nice weekend in Dallas with my kid and wife and took in a ball game and some good food. I head for home in S/E Texas and nailed a deer in the Sam Houston National Forest. I had only put 440 miles on the car.

Sad thing is I spent the last 15 years living in West Texas where deer are all over the place and never even came close.


I quit hunting a few years back and now I'm ready to go back. Game management has gone far enough. The darn things are everywhere.

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I should also point out that I lost a very good friend this year to collision with a deer: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2009/jul/02/no-headline---mitchell_county_jp_killed/


Pat was my Assistant Chief for 2 1/2 years and was a great guy. Pat and I had been on the road he was killed on numerous times on the way to dinner. Pat always wore a jacket, gloves, and full face helmet. Pat always rode within his limits and was probably riding no more 30 mph when the collision took place.


Maybe one of the safest riders I ever spent time on the road with.

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Most of the folks I know tell me I am nuts to be out there riding everyday at my age and with my responsibilities. A couple seem to make it a point every time I see them to relate to me the latest person killed on a bike by a car in and around Columbus Ohio.

I have been riding on the street since about 1971 and have only had one collision with a vehicle. I am sure it is part luck and quite a bit of knowing my way around. However....These Freakin' deer frighten the shit out of me. They are like bolts of lightening that come out of no where and they are absoloutly unpredictable. BTW...I thought you folks in Michigan have Ted Nugent to help with the deer problem!!!!

It is truly a hold your "breath and focus moment" when you come up on a heard of them on the interstate at night or like the other day when one jumpped out of the bushes in front of me on a very narrow country road.

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I missed a buck one night coming from work running about 65 around a sharp curve. You know, it's hard to stop that fast on a curve. Missed him by about a foot. It was funny though, I could see his face with that look a human would have, his eyes looked wide open and I could swear he was tucking his rear in like a flame was about to burn his tail.Huh..I feel for you though been there myself. Probably will again, knock n wood. Ouch that hurt..

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How close to the edge of the road was the foliage?


thanks everyone for the kind thoughts. The foilage wasn't that dense. Maybe five feet of grass on the wooded side. It's still hard to belive that I can't remember the accident but they tell me that's what concussions do.


Woods on one side and lake houses on the other. This happened on the road going out to the state park. "Tawaws Point State Park".


Deer Management has indeed gone too far. When I was a kid it was quite a big deal to see a deer. Now, they're walking down my street in suburban Detroit. And not to mention that one was swimming across our lake when I was out water-skiing this summer.


About 1.5 million need to be harvested in Michigan alone. It's beyond ridiculous. About half the guys in the Detroit club have had deer encounters this year alone. Thankfully none were fatal.


I'm 50/50 on giving up riding, but I don't think I can stand to see my wife and daughter walking into the hospital room with tears in their eyes again. Sometimes you have to assess the situation form your family's point of view. I've ridden to most of the places I dreamed about as a kid so no continued longing to "see Alaska" or "get to Isle of Man".


Who knows what the future holds but for the first time in a long time, I'm listening to those who have good reasons for giving up riding.





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It's an accident. Don't give up riding because of it. It can happen in a car too albeit with a much lesser chance of serious injury or death.


Just keep riding and flashing your high beam on and off on dangerous roads. It helps me spot them better. Avoid riding at dusk and dawn if possible or ride at slower speeds.

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I wonder if there are fewer people on this board who have not hit a deer. >61,000 collisions for Michigan alone in 2008, about 19% of all collisions. I've been told that Michigan and Wisconsin are about the worst. I just noticed that 1993-2008, the percentage of deer-vehicle crashes went up in Michigan, but went down in Wisconsin.


Does your report mean that nothing was broken (other than the bike)? Good luck with recovery.


Source: Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse


Fear of deer means I won't ride in the country after dusk any more (even though my own collision took place at 12:45 on a brilliant fall day).

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I guess I'm a fatalist. I have two deer kills with the bike. One gave me a broken arm and a totaled bike, the other serious bike damage but not to me as I didn't go down. One happened at 9am riding to work, the other on a sunny Sunday at 11am.

I have the advantage that I don't have to worry about a growing family. To me riding and deer is a bit like Russian roulette. I am as careful as possible, but best/worst example was Larry Grodsky (R.I.P.) THE motorcycle safety guru who died in a motorcycle/deer accident.

The only sure way to avoid a motorcycle/deer accident is to stop riding. I am not going to let the darn deer do that to me!

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.... or ride at slower speeds.



...or faster speeds... so you're not as easy a target for them :thumbsup:.


Hope you don't give up on riding if it truly brings you joy and pleasure.

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Does your report mean that nothing was broken (other than the bike)? Good luck with recovery


just some contusions on my lower back and the concussion. No broken bones again. Been lucky in that regard. I was on my buddy's old K100. He worked it out with the insurance agent so that he bought the bike back, plus he got a lot of money and I'm going to help him rebuild. (We traded bikes just before the ride to dinner which makes me feel like an even bigger jerk!)


Yeah, if I was riding 60 like they were, probably never would have happened. Slow, fast, they're like rats around here. Where's my rifle?????


thanks for the kind words everyone. Not an easy decision to make. Been riding BMW's since 1980 and still get a thrill from the sound of my R90s running through the gears. And the engineering on my RT still makes me marvel when I can run 90mph all day and feel like I'm doing 50.



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Yeah, deer present a danger to motorcyclists. It just seems odd to blame the deer. I would want to see a wildlife manager's report on the number of deer in a specific location to determine if the population of deer is exceeding it's habitat before I advocated the murdering of a deer population to keep motorcyclists safer. After all, humans can adapt to changing environments; wildlife cannot. Of course isn't it the American way to wipe out what's in the path of human indulgence? Just ask the North American natives.

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I was riding my BICYCLE and I was in the special place us bike riders know so well. Suddenly I was jolted out of my reverie by a loud snort in my ear, and some moisture hit my arm. I looked to my right directly into the face of the most astonished 4 point buck you have ever seen. I could read his thoughts, and he could read mine as they were the same...WTF! I am sure we also had the same look on our faces.


The buck took off, and was hoping to get ahead of me to cross the road to the doe that was most certainly on the other side. With the surge of adrenalin, I poured on the coals, I made that poor deer run almost 1/2 mile before he could cross.


On the bike, I do not think it would have been so fun. I know that was one buck that was well educated.


Too many deer, and Missouri charges way over $200 for an out of state license. Wrong.



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Glad you're ok. Those bucks have one thing on their mind this time of year and the whole deer population is on the move as a result. Deer strikes are usually higher in November.

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Hoping you heal quickly physically & mentally. Trust your gut on whether to ride again or not.

The roads here are blood stained & littered with deer this time of year. My rule of thumb from Oct to mid Jan.: On the road an hour after sunrise and off the road an hour before sunset.


Be Well

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Really glad you survived the encounter. Perhaps the memory loss is just as well.

I know the feeling of making a decision about something you enjoy doing. I recently sold my hang glider, tough decision but probably a good one. Altho I really miss . . . . STOP IT.


I rode out the back roads today to a friends house in the country, the ride back was on the freeway, a conscious decision to avoid any encounters, worked, this time.


Heal well and think long before you pull the plug, if you do.

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Glad you're not dead.


A group of us were talking about this very thing at breakfast this morning. We'd only had two close encounters on the way to breakfast. We all made comments about the seeming larger numbers of deer everywhere we go in Texas (I live about two miles from the state Capitol, in as suburban a setting as you can get, and have a buck, four does and several fawns in my yard all the time).


In 1938, Texas had about 232,000 deer. Today there are about four million, according to the Parks/Wildlife Department. TPWD is proud of this. About a half million deer are "taken" every year, pumping about $700 million into the state economy from hunting. Even with this alleged 25% annual harvest, the population remains steady at four million. Current hunting practice doesn't seem to be the answer.


Perhaps an answer would be changing the hunter culture, away from killing deer with horns to killing does. Probably impossible.



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Yeah, deer present a danger to motorcyclists. It just seems odd to blame the deer.


Boy, you know, you are absolutely right. I'd never "blame" an animal for doing what comes naturally.


I would want to see a wildlife manager's report on the number of deer in a specific location to determine if the population of deer is exceeding it's habitat before I advocated the murdering of a deer population to keep motorcyclists safer.


Merriam-Webster: Main Entry: Murder


Note that only "person's" can be murdered. However, officials dictating a policy that allows animals to kill innocent persons could arguably be charged with manslaughter.


It is to the benefit of both mankind and wildlife to control the wildlife populations, but the priority must be the safety of mankind. Anything less is a dereliction of duty by the wildlife managers.


After all, humans can adapt to changing environments; wildlife cannot. Of course isn't it the American way to wipe out what's in the path of human indulgence? Just ask the North American natives.


Well, gee, that's a bit provocative for a post about deer kills. However, to each their own and I take no offense, but I must respond.


Redefining history 150 years after the fact takes little courage, as compared to individuals who left hearth and home and struck out with a musket, horse and wagon, and meager supplies to hack out a new civilization out of a wilderness. I'm guessing that things looked a bit different to the parties involved in the struggle to survive back then.


Equating "the American way" with a slaughter of American Natives (with the obvious bias that they were entirely "innocent") unfairly damns a civilization that has uniquely done more selfless good than any other the world has ever known. Perfect, America has never been. However, it has been the worlds best hope and brightest light for freedom, human rights, and economic prosperity.


America is good. The rest of the world has a long way to catch up. America has a lot of blessings to be thankful for, and for which it is accountable to protect.


SOooo, Happy Thanksgiving! :grin:


Kind regards,



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Originally Posted By: gottabmw

Yeah, deer present a danger to motorcyclists. It just seems odd to blame the deer.


Yeah, strange how we got to that quote. I would never blame a deer or any animal for doing what comes natural. I just warned to be very careful. Deer are everywhere (where they used not to be).


Both in my opinion and current statistics from the Michigan DNR show that the numbers are way beyond "normal". Other states reflect a similar trend as many on this post have noted. I would like to hear Larry Grodsky's opinon on the subject were he here to elaborate.


Although the DNR only states the numbers, ask most citizens of our fine state and I think you'll find an almost universal opinion that their numbers are sort of, well, off the charts in the last 30 years.


Further, if you see them walking down freeways and residential streets, bedding down in backyards and swimming across the public lakes in the height of summer activity, is it really even fair to consider them wildlife anymore?


I 'jus sayin',





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I think you guys that live where as Woody would say, "that place up north" need to give the motor city mad man a call and let him know of your plight. From my exsperience...he would be more than happy to knock that population down and maybe even run for Governor on that platform!!

BTW...I hate to hit them but I Love to eat them.

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