Originally Posted by Andyvh1959
I get that question a lot from my MSF students, and living in Wisconsin means it is a truly relative question about riding. My tactics include:
- knowing your riding areas and deer concentrations around the state,
- expecting the damn things all the time, everywhere, all roads, any time,
- scanning, searching, constantly, slow down any time I sense a danger area,
- train my eyes to register the deer brown color vs background color,
- ANY trees/cover/water near the road means added danger, prepare myself,
- corn fields, especially when higher hide a lot of deer, more on secondary roads,
- deer are stupid, they'll run right into you when you try to avoid them. I saw a deer twice adjust its path as I changed my speed. It was running across an empty field toward my path (friggin Taliban Deer). Has something to do with their mentality to stay ahead of a predatory threat. I finally beat it on speed and it passed behind me. I had a bulk t-bone my car back in 2009 when it could have passed behind me, but it tried to run out in front of the car (predator?),
- in general, if I encounter one on the road, I brake hard and fast in a straight line and aim for the deer's ass (NASCAR crash mentality) in hopes it won't be there when I get there,
But even noted cycle safety guru Larry Grotsky was taken out by a deer, at night, while crossing Texas.
I read a long ago that a deer's perception field and (or) peripheral vision field is very narrow. When they get spooked and charge across the road they are not perceiving vehicles coming at a fast rate of speed. Once they make up their minds to bolt across the road they are incapable of changing their minds. This explains why they sometimes end up colliding directly into the side or even the rear-side of a vehicle. This is especially true if the vehicle is traveling at a fast rate of speed.
Deer and moose are extremely hard to see even in the daytime because their coloring blends right into the background. The best thing a rider can do is to ride slower.
I try to avoid riding at night, and, at dusk and dawn, which is the time that they are most often feeding on the roadside. I have recently tried to ride more slowly, but find myself too often not doing so.