Column: Death to the deer!
It was nearing sunrise in the wee hours of Saturday morning. There were a smattering of cars on the roads and the insects in the ditches were louder than any passing traffic.
I was completing a long day of driving to and from the Minnesota state fair.
For some reason, I did not want to stay in the metro and felt a powerful urge to return to the friendly confines of my abode.
It had to do with the cramped and uncomfortable bus ride from Northtown Mall to the fair and the miles of walking, including up 50-some rows to my nosebleed seats at the Rush concert.
Gusty winds blew the Canadian wall of sound around to the point it sounded like someone was messing with the treble button on a giant living room home stereo. The sound went in and out.
The winds quieted down and stopped messing with the music about midway through the show.
We exited stage left into the blinking lights of the Ferris wheel and spinning bulbs of the midway. Rings of light carved into the suburban trees by street lamps and then all went black.
I was back in the quiet of Otter Tail County. I like driving in the black of night on quiet roads with a glowing moon in the sky, some enjoyable tunes on the radio and Holy #%^&!
A mere 30 feet to stop from 60 miles per hour and dead ahead three idiot deer.
Momma and her two fawn were stretched out across both lanes of traffic.
I had no time to blast the horn. I was standing on my brake pedal.
Mom takes off to the right. Ten feet to go. Baby in the middle bounds over my right headlight. I swerve a bit left, as much swerving as can be done with tires locked in a squeal.
The dumb thing never saw me coming.
Headlight plastic goes flying and the uncomfortable thud of life ending ruined my front fender, smashed in my door, cracked a hubcap and certainly my mood.
Shock hits you in these moments and I should know. This is the fourth deer I've plunked in five years. My poor old Buick took a beating from the beasts. This is the first damage done to the Camry.
Then the anger comes. Sure, I'm out in nature on the man-made paved ruination of the Earth and the critters really have more of a claim to that stretch of land than I do, per se. But you can't eat anything in the middle of the road and I know brethren of this trio I ran into who have come after me in a suicidal sprint the likes of which nobody can avoid.
There's something wrong with these animals.
I used to think it was rather cruel to send the fellas out there every fall to blow the Bambis away. Like somehow, the herd didn't need to be thinned that bad.
Well, this year, I'm cheering for the boys in orange. I can't wait for the venison sausage. Start the season early. Death to the deer!