Riding skills: Avoiding a deer strike

By Ped Baker -

Riding Skills

 17 June 2010 16:55

Hitting or narrowly missing a deer on a motorcycle is a terrifying experience. Deer are unpredictable, fast and, if you're unlucky enough to be faced with a Red deer, bloody big. The majority of wild animals can safely be run over or batted away under speeds of under 80mph but hit a deer at almost any speed and you'll be lucky to stay on the bike. Here's how to avoid them. 
Spot the signs
Councils don't like wasting money and won't usually erect a deer warning sign where there aren't any deer. If you see a sign slow down and extend your field of vision further than the kerbs. 
Where there's one...
There are usually others, except Roe and Muntjac breeds. They're the billy-no-mates of the deer world. Unless you can tell your Sika from your Chinese water deer in a split second, expect more to appear from hedge anytime soon.
Dawn and Dusk
Pay particular attention before sunrise or after sunset. It¹s a time when most deer feel like throwing themselves in the road.
Bright eyes
Like any other animal, deer eyes are very reflective so using high beam is a good way of spotting them from a distance. If they become mesmerised by the light and freeze in the road a quick flash (of the lights) usually snaps them out of it.
If you do hit a deer, don't die yourself and manage to stop shaking long enough to operate your mobile call the RSPCA cruelty and advice line on 0300
1234 999 telling where and when the incident happened. There's no obligation to call the police.
If the deer is dead, drag it to the verge. Don't approach a wounded deer, it will be mightily pissed at being run over and those antlers are sharp.