I wonder sometimes...

It was an early morning (4:30 AM) drive yesterday, south on Highway 52 to Interstate 90 through deer country. It's fall and deer are in the rut, moving across the countryside at sunrise and sunset. It's hard to drive for any distance without seeing a deer splayed on the side of the road, the victim of a car.

Something puzzles me. Whitetail deer are swift, possessing of keen eyesight, an enhanced sense of smell, and the ability to hear a twig snap at distance. Hunters seeking deer must be stealthy, cover their smell, and often spend long hours in a single place nearly motionless. So what is it about cars, loud, fast, and bright with lights that seems to defy them? What makes this normally hyper vigilant animal such easy prey for something so obvious?

I'd like to think that somehow after more than a century of cars they would have figured it all out. And I have a picture in my mind of a bambi kind of scene where the wise old deer speaks of the dangers of cars in hushed tones to a rapt audience of fawns. Alas it is not to be and as the road descended from the prairies into the river valley on the shoulder lay a buck in full horn and strength, dead. Sad.

No comments: