The Wide Angle: Cabal of deer get their revenge

Published 5:36 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

When you live in this little chunk of the Midwest, you get used to a variety of things.

Lutefisk is a thing you can’t run from (sorry fellow Scandinavians, but I cannot fall in love with this accursed way of cooking fish. I am only half Scandinavian).

The Vikings and Twins will inevitably disappoint.

Deer are a thing.

We’ve all driven down the many winding roads of Minnesota, South Dakota, that other Dakota and that place that unfortunately is home to the Green Bay Packers … and Iowa and came face to face with a deer, or two or three.

I personally love deer. I think they are — and this is a word I don’t use lightly — adorable. In many ways they are majestic.

However, recent events have brought me to the thinking that maybe I should take up hunting.

I have been driving now for a lot of years, dating all the way back to the first car I ever drove regularly — a royal blue Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. That’s a bunch of years, though I’m too lazy to do the simple math necessary to tell you precisely how many.

In all of that time I have not hit one deer. My significant other has hit exactly no deer as well. It’s a track record that quite frankly is as surprising as it is welcome.

And yet, in two consecutive years we have now tagged two of the creatures, the most recent being last week when Janeen struck one of three crossing the road on her way to work.

The good news is that she is okay. The bad news is that the Ford Focus she was driving is lost. Damages were estimated to the cool tune of over $7,000, which if I am to be completely honest means I will wait for the insurance company to tell me the inevitable.

Which they did. The other sliver of good news is we’re getting more back than I thought.

But my big question is how does this happen in consecutive years after going so many years without being hit. Sure, I could simply rest on happenstance. An unfortunate string of bad luck after so many years of good, but it’s that last thought that trains my mind in a different way.

A secret cabal of black ops deer that I have wronged in another life, making it their purpose in life to return to me two-fold some misfortune I heaped on them at some point.

I mean, it just makes sense.

Anyway.

Like a good Midwesterner, my eyes search the ditches of our roads looking for the two glowing eyes and simultaneously trying to gauge just how daring they are feeling at the moment. Believe it or not, deer eyes are notoriously hard to gauge when traveling 60 mph at night.

There have been plenty of close calls over this stretch of years. Couple of them were extremely close, nearly tagging their hindquarters or requiring me to a stop completely while it stood directly in the road, staring at me with a look that could only be translated as to mean, “come at me bro.”

I will not, in fact, come at you bro. I, instead, want you to get out of the road. I’ve had … A LOT … of coffee.

Nevertheless, last year and now this year we have tagged a deer and as many are aware, tagging deer in this instance does not, in fact, kick-start a fun game of tag. Instead, it kick-starts an unplanned support of small business — most notably an auto body shop, which that alone is fine. The place we go to does fantastic work.

But the fact remains that all of a sudden our luck, which has been so stellar over the years, has suddenly dropped significantly and risen expensively.

The only saving grace of this mess, if I’m to be forced into a corner of positivity, is that it wasn’t on the open highway going full speed, which could have resulted in a much less optimistic outcome.

Neither time, in fact, were we injured, however, it does make us want to rethink my charitable thinking of the animal and maybe endeavor to eat more venison.

No, that’s not true. I still like the deer and feel bad for the one that decided to try its luck at the last minute.

I guess we’re all unlucky these days.