Never mind live deer, carcasses are just as dangerous on New Jersey roads
It seems like deer season never ends in New Jersey. It's not enough we have to avoid the ones trying to cross the road. We also have to keep our eyes open for the ones that didn't make it.
And thanks to his particular scenario, I can now, unfortunately, say that I've hit deer a total of three times in my life.
The first time I ever hit a deer was when I still worked in promotions at New Jersey 101.5. I ended up hitting a deer while driving the station's promotional vehicle (better known as the Big Yellow Van. I share that story below).
The second time I hit a deer was fairly recently with my personal vehicle. Luckily, I was traveling at a lower rate of speed so the damage was minimal.
This brings us to my most recent incident, which occurred on my way to the radio ranch. What made this incident different is the fact that the deer had already been hit.
It was a little after 5 a.m. on a Sunday when this incident occurred. It happened during the final week of December on a stretch I travel quite frequently heading to the radio station.
The weather wasn't bad, although, I honestly don't remember if the moon was out that particular morning. I was very close to the radio ranch getting ready to make my exit.
It was at this spot where this incident occurred. I'm assuming someone hit a deer earlier that night in this area, causing its body to land right in the middle of the lane.
What made this even worse was the exact position the deer was in. It was smack in the center of the deceleration lane in a spot that was hard to see until the last minute.
Once I finally saw it, there was nowhere for me to go but directly over it. So I centered my car as quickly as I could and drove straight over the deer.
And boy did I feel this thing as I went over it. Right after it happened, my first concern was if any damage happened on the underside.
I wasn't just watching the fuel gauge for the possibility that this carcass caused a rupture on the fuel tank or lines. I was also watching for any other warning lights to go on in anticipation of some sort of undercarriage damage.
Luckily, I safely made it to the radio station without any warning lights or any odd vibrations or sounds from the car.
Being it was still dark outside, I just did a quick visual before going in to prepare for my show. I decided if anything did happen that I couldn't do much until the sun came up anyway.
I decided to wait until my shift was over at 10 AM to take a closer look. That way, I wouldn't have to worry about running in and out of the studio trying to find anything during the short periods I wasn't on the mic.
The good news is I didn't really find any damage other than a dangling plastic cover. However, remnants of the deer were all over the underside.
Here's some of the hair that got caught underneath.
And even more over here.
Fur even got stuck to the mudflaps.
You get the idea. Bits of this carcass were spread all over the underside. Here's a handful of fur I pulled out that was also wedged down there.
And yet, I only found one area where one of the splash guards cracked and dangled. So far, I've been lucky nothing serious has happened to myself or any of the vehicles I was driving.
Just remember when traveling that it's not only deer trying to cross the road you have to watch out for. Please stay safe and keep your eyes open for the carcasses as well. They can certainly catch you off-guard.
And as I mentioned earlier, this isn't my first incident with deer. The very first time I hit one was with the station van. And truth be told, I never told anyone when this incident occurred. At least, not until now.