Drivers beware: Deer are on the move, multiple accidents reported

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, November 18, 2017

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Glenn Putnam was driving home from work along U.S. 81/287 near Alvord last Friday when a buck crashed through his windshield.

ROADKILL – A buck crashed through Glenn Putnam’s windshield Friday, but he escaped the wreck without serious injuries. Submitted photo

The buck was chasing a doe across the highway in front of Putnam and an 18-wheeler. The doe hit the 18-wheeler, which braked to avoid the buck, but Putnam, in the passing lane, didn’t see the other deer until it was too late.

“Next thing you know, I was doing 70, and he hit me,” Putnam said. “He jumped up and almost cleared the hood, but he hit my windshield and came in through it.”

The buck ended up lodged between the steering column and the dashboard, turning the wheel to the right and causing Putnam to swerve into the 18-wheeler and scrape down its side. When Putnam managed to stop, he found that the deer was actually still alive, though it soon died.

Putnam was lucky in that he only sustained minor injuries – some cuts from the windshield glass breaking and a knot on his head from where the deer hit him. The deer’s right antler caught his hood and broke off before it crashed into the cab, saving him from potentially getting stabbed by its antler. The left antler hit the cab’s ceiling and punctured the liner in three places.

The insurance company determined his truck is totaled.

“I laughed when I got out of the truck because I was shocked,” Putnam said. “One second you’re driving along, and the next thing you know there’s a deer in your lap.”

Putnam isn’t the only person to hit a deer in Wise County recently – multiple emergency calls concerning vehicles hitting deer have gone out over the police scanner in recent weeks. Jennifer Barrow, a Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist in Decatur, said deer are out in force now because its their rut.

“We have these one-and-a-half-year-old bucks, and mama’s telling you you have to go find your own way,” Barrow said. “They’re getting lost on the roads.”

The unseasonably warm weather also keeps them awake and active at night, when they’re less likely to be seen by cars as they cross the road.

“Just keep your eyes peeled in the bar ditches; slow down,” Barrow said. “They travel along the creeks, and that’s certainly where they’re getting hit a lot. Keep your eyes out on the sides of the road.”

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