Hey, New Jersey: Is it normal to feel this way after deer encounters?
You may have already read that we’re entering deer rutting season in New Jersey. If not, you should know that from mid-October to December deer are, to put it bluntly, incredibly horny and unpredictable when it comes to crossing the road.
You’re more likely this time of year to see them darting in front of cars without a care in the world, so we’re being asked to be vigilant and keep a lookout while on the roads.
After seeing several deer on the roads this past week on my commute home, I started wondering if (what I’m self-diagnosing as) Deer PTSD is a thing for anyone else.
Call me a snowflake, maybe I deserve it, but I’m over a year out from a deer hitting my car and I still get anxious over it. I’m wondering if anyone else has the same nervous feeling that I’m experiencing after a deer-hitting experience.
First, the backstory:
Last August I was driving home from work on a Friday night on Route 195 East when I saw a deer ahead of me running from the right side of the road to the left.
I slowed down (there was no one behind me, so it wasn’t an issue), and kept an eye on the right side of the road to see if there were any friends following him.
That’s what you’re supposed to do, after all. We’re told that other deer may come from the same direction.
So that’s what I did, I kept a stern eye on the right side of 195.
That’s when I heard a loud bang from the left side of my car.
After I let out a loud scream, I glanced at my rearview mirror to see what happened and saw the already dead deer spinning in the air toward the median.
I pulled over to call authorities and see what damage was done to my car... it wasn’t pretty.
I should acknowledge here how fortunate I am that nobody but the deer and my door handle were hurt, I completely understand this incident could have been MUCH worse.
That said, now every time I pass that spot on 195 (and I mean every time, at least six days a week) I tense up. My eyes dart back and forth to see if there are any deer, even during the midday hours when they’re unlikely to be out as if it's going to happen again.
Is this normal?
Is anyone else in the Garden State not able to shake that anxious feeling when you pass the spot where you had a deer encounter, be it a hit or a close call?
Am I doomed to forever hate exit 22 of 195?
Please let me know if I'm alone in feeling this way.
Either way, be sure to stay aware during this rutting season, it can be dangerous. As if we didn't have enough to worry about on New Jersey roads.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Kylie Moore. Any opinions expressed are Kylie's own. You can follow Kylie on Instagram.