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Truly Gritty
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I'm guessing a lot of you like me enjoy riding your bikes through woodland area backroads. The problem with this is the possibility of deer strikes. Some of the earlier posts I read this year were about members hitting deers and thankfully they were all able to tell us the story about it; I even met one member who has hit multiple deers throughout his motorcycling career! For the last few years I have watched Youtube videos of deer strikes to see if there was anything I could glean and incorporate into my riding technique or preparation while riding through wooded backroad areas. I first figured that if a deer jumped in front of me in a situation where I couldn't stop I would try to lean forward and go through it. Seemed plausible except for the Oh S..t factor! You know, the first response you have as your body immediately stiffens straight up and right there OUT the window goes the leaning forward and going through the deer idea! Nearly every year since 93 I head up to the New York, Lake George Adirondack region with my friends for a week of awesome backroad riding. In over twenty years of riding up there I've had only one deer jump in front of me while on a ride and I was able to avoid hitting it. This year I had two occasions where I had 5 deers jump in front of me! Four the first time and a fawn followed by a doe the second; all just shot out of the woods and across the road in front of me. I'm able to tell you this story because I learned that the best way to protect myself against deer strikes is as follows:

Mental Preparation
Armor Reinforced Riding Apparel
Motorcycle Coms (Sena, Cardo)
Using Wide Peripheral Vision
Lane position (Center)
Forcing Yourself To SLOW DOWN While Riding Through Heavily Wooded Areas
If possible, ride with a friend whenever you ride through densely wooded areas especially in the morning and evening hours.

Due to the above I was able to safely slow down and stop while leading a group of four other riders. Each time I was startled and frightened but I was going slow enough to stop and avoid hitting the forest rats. I know that this scenario changes while on highways or when deer shoot out of the woods right at you, but I'm sure that you can still give yourself a chance if you follow some of the tips I listed. I know other riders on this forum have their own experiences/opinions and can add to my list but it is a good topic for us to discuss as we can all learn from one another and hopefully save a life. I really appreciate all that I've learned on this forum and I hope my two cents can help someone as many of you have helped me. Thanks for your attention to this matter and may you all enjoy sun up and rubber side down travels always.
 

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Best times to avoid deers/moose in wooded areas and at night is when its raining.
So there are advantages of riding in the rain, hehehehe
 

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I live in a very high deer populated area, very rare that I don't see deer in any given day.
I will NOT swerve when I see a deer coming onto the road, I will only brake. Swerving only adds another factor into the situation that doesn't need to come into play, oncoming traffic and off road excursions. Both of those are bad options.
 

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Techmeister
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Not as much as PA, but there are all kinds of furry critters playing chicken with you here in New England. Deer are the worse because they lunge where bear and moose meander. Coyote are a new problem.

If I am traveling at speed alone on the road I will sway left/right within my lane, while flashing my lights and sounding my horn to scare them back. Lights alone do not work. The horn will work if you have enough time. The moving light (as opposed to a flashing light), combined with the noise seems to be the most effective.

Another problem we have is turkey knocking bikers off their bikes. Turkey flock so when one takes flight they all do together. Ride into that mess and you will have a bad day.
 

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There really are a few good tips for avoiding hitting a deer and some that flat don't work. Put deer whistles in the latter category. When I worked for the state patrol we played (tested) those things for several years and they didn't help a bit. There is no great secret to any of this and if you live and work in high deer populated areas you find the best option is don't play in traffic at dusk or dawn. If you can, learn to move your eyes a lot from one side of the road to the other and watch for anything that is shiny, or a large shadow. You stand a much better chance of seeing the silhouette of a deer than the actual deer itself. If you are lucky you may catch the glint of a critters eye as they move towards the road and that is your warning to really slow down. Speed is your worst enemy in these situations so only go as fast as you need to. If you are on a two lane road in a heavily wooded area and going 50 plus miles an hour in deer country you are going too fast. If hitting a deer or other large animal is likely, don't veer off the road to avoid it. Nothing healthy is in ditches when you are on a moving motorcycle in the middle of nowhere. Best bet is slow down and scan the road for one side to the other looking for object movement. And of course remember, where there is one deer there are always more.
Rick H.
 

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I'm guessing a lot of you like me enjoy riding your bikes through woodland area backroads. The problem with this is the possibility of deer strikes. Some of the earlier posts I read this year were about members hitting deers and thankfully they were all able to tell us the story about it; I even met one member who has hit multiple deers throughout his motorcycling career! For the last few years I have watched Youtube videos of deer strikes to see if there was anything I could glean and incorporate into my riding technique or preparation while riding through wooded backroad areas. I first figured that if a deer jumped in front of me in a situation where I couldn't stop I would try to lean forward and go through it. Seemed plausible except for the Oh S..t factor! You know, the first response you have as your body immediately stiffens straight up and right there OUT the window goes the leaning forward and going through the deer idea! Nearly every year since 93 I head up to the New York, Lake George Adirondack region with my friends for a week of awesome backroad riding. In over twenty years of riding up there I've had only one deer jump in front of me while on a ride and I was able to avoid hitting it. This year I had two occasions where I had 5 deers jump in front of me! Four the first time and a fawn followed by a doe the second; all just shot out of the woods and across the road in front of me. I'm able to tell you this story because I learned that the best way to protect myself against deer strikes is as follows:

Mental Preparation
Armor Reinforced Riding Apparel
Motorcycle Coms (Sena, Cardo)
Using Wide Peripheral Vision
Lane position (Center)
Forcing Yourself To SLOW DOWN While Riding Through Heavily Wooded Areas
If possible, ride with a friend whenever you ride through densely wooded areas especially in the morning and evening hours.

Due to the above I was able to safely slow down and stop while leading a group of four other riders. Each time I was startled and frightened but I was going slow enough to stop and avoid hitting the forest rats. I know that this scenario changes while on highways or when deer shoot out of the woods right at you, but I'm sure that you can still give yourself a chance if you follow some of the tips I listed. I know other riders on this forum have their own experiences/opinions and can add to my list but it is a good topic for us to discuss as we can all learn from one another and hopefully save a life. I really appreciate all that I've learned on this forum and I hope my two cents can help someone as many of you have helped me. Thanks for your attention to this matter and may you all enjoy sun up and rubber side down travels always.
Yes, and when running thru mountain areas late evening into dark, those Clearwaters are always on, cept for approaching vehicles ! More light on shoulders of road into tree line, the better !
 

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You can see deer any time of the day but they are most active between dusk and dawn so the best way to avoid them is to avoid riding when they are most active. I don't like riding at night and usually try to be home before the sun goes down so it's easy for me to avoid deer when I'm riding. It's also better to ride closer to the center line than the shoulder of the road because that extra couple of feet may buy you enough reaction time to avoid a collision. Of course slowing down when riding in deer territory or when there's little room between the edge of the treeline and the road is common sense.
 

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Sir Robin’s Lead Minstrel
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Most of our deer where I live in the TN boonies have been naturally selected to avoid traffic over the last 25 years. Deer strikes were incredibly common after the hills and hollows filled up with people moving out to the country from cities, and traffic increased dramatically. I had 3 deer hits I can remember offhand. My partner's insurance dropped him because he hit 2 in the space of several weeks. Bloody carcasses were lying all over the rural roads. But the dumb and jumpy ones mostly were killed, and it had a HUGE effect.

Now, most deer grazing near the road will flat out ignore traffic, rather than being spooked by it. And I've seen a lead doe on MANY occasions halt the group, then look both ways, see me, wait until I pass, then look both ways again, and lead the rest across the road. I was a passenger in my partner's car one night, and on a very rural mountain road, we saw a HUGE, 16-point buck standing in the middle of the road. We stop, and he calmly moves in the gulley next to a rock face, such that the car would have to pass only a foot from him, if he didn't run. My partner started creeping forward, and as we drove past, I swear that buck had an annoyed expression on his face that it took so long for us to drive past.

Don't get me wrong; I'm NOT saying deer will never do anything crazy or that a deer strike isn't potentially a very deadly hazard to a motorcycle. But ours learning what cars are, even as the deer population rises due to less young people taking up hunting, has been a huge factor in reducing deer strikes.
 

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Sir Robin’s Lead Minstrel
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@dobervol wait until you meet a moose standing in the roadway. It changes you.
Mrs. Dober lived in AK for a little while on the Kenai Peninsula. Back then, at least on more rural roads, the Moose had learned that traffic would halt for them, and some of them would just stand there to mess with people, like a playground bully: "Yeah, I know you're late for work and all, and I'm what's stopping you, but what the _ _ _ _ are you gonna do about it?"

But yeah, even though I've never come across them on a motorcycle, I'd very much imagine Bison, Kodiak and Moose are all an entirely different level of sphincter-tightness from ye olde Virginia Whitetail.
 
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As somebody posted up when the deer hit me, back in '14, they're fast, they're beautiful, and they're stupid. Whenever anyone asks if they can deer hunt on my property, I always have the same reply -- yeah, shoot 'em all!
 

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Premium Member
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As somebody posted up when the deer hit me, back in '14, they're fast, they're beautiful, and they're stupid. Whenever anyone asks if they can deer hunt on my property, I always have the same reply -- yeah, shoot 'em all!
I'll be down to set up a stand some weekend soon! Archery season is just around the corner :D
 

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My son had a deer run right into the side of his truck while going 40 in Colorado. My brother in Texas watched several deer run right into the side of a group of Harley riders going down the road killing the 3rd rider back and injuring several behind him. He said it was like the deer timed it on purpose. You can't always plan for it.
 
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Techmeister
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It is common knowledge that many north of the Gap keep two cars; one for in-season and one out. Your in-season car wants to be heavy and big enough to strap a bull to. You don't need a stamp for roadkill.
 

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In many places, the deer population has exploded. While we drive out the predators we do not cull the excessive deer. Our elected officials should get on the problem by using some sense. An out of balance ecology has negative, sometimes painful, consequences. I hope we don’t have a rise in rider injuries or worse to get it under control. Be careful and stay safe out there.
 

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One more thing, I used to not give deer xing signs on the interstate much thought. I used to think it was a waste of metal since deer are everywhere. But then I learned that those are placed in areas of confirmed migration paths and higher statistical deer strikes which earns their specific placement. Since paying more attention to these areas, I can confirm that many more red stains from past strikes lay on those paved stretches where I live.
 

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@dobervol wait until you meet a moose standing in the roadway. It changes you.
How about standing on your front porch? 😬

144512


This guy was just outside my front door, probably weighs around 1,500 lbs. They are taller and heavier than deer of course, so they tend to end up coming through the windshield of cars and/or crush the roof, and kill people fairly often that way.

On a bike... I would think it would be like hitting a brick wall...
 

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We had to fly a guy who hit an elk on his BMW.....he was a medical professional. No helmet, so he had head injuries and became combative.......so combative, they wouldn't let him in the ground ambulance. Once we showed up with a nurse on board, they were able to sedate him. While on the scene, the State Police found cocaine in his saddlebag. This guy has a really bad day: M/C accident, head injuries, $$$$ helicopter ride, jail and loss of his medical license...:cry:
 

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We had to fly a guy who hit an elk on his BMW.....he was a medical professional. No helmet, so he had head injuries and became combative.......so combative, they wouldn't let him in the ground ambulance. Once we showed up with a nurse on board, they were able to sedate him. While on the scene, the State Police found cocaine in his saddlebag. This guy has a really bad day: M/C accident, head injuries, $$$$ helicopter ride, jail and loss of his medical license...:cry:
It was the Elk's fault.
 
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