Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Why I hate deer

There are not many things you’ll find me admitting to hating (disgusting ‘ink’ is one example), but there is one that STILL winds me up, although it’s many years since I’ve even been near it.


I’ve spent a lot of time on Scotland’s roads, especially those in isolated and deserted areas, where the wildlife has little experience of vehicles on the road. Mostly populated with sheep, despite meeting many of them, even in complete darkness, I never even came close to hitting one. They seem to have a natural sense of self-preservation, and I have an even greater sense of financial preservation, and don’t want the cost of repairs.

That said, on one drive up to the car park that overlooks the Kyles of Bute, I was intrigued to find a bloody mess that was once a sheep, lying in the middle of the road as I headed back down from the car park. This is hardly a busy road, and the hit must have been pretty hard. I could remember all the cars that passed while I was sitting in the car park, and none were damaged.

Compared to sheep, deer are the mental equivalent of two short planks (and a brick) when it comes to traffic.

I’ve witnessed many near misses where the driver had no chance when a deer decided to take to the road.

I don’t know how they even manage to jump fences at speed, as they seem to have no spatial or speed awareness whatsoever.

They just break through undergrowth and charge across roads as if they hadn’t even seen objects (cars and lorries) were moving towards them at speed. Maybe they have brains stuck in their teenage years, and think they are indestructible.

Others stand by the roadside, then just bolt across without any sort of warning (their acceleration from a standing start is impressive, unfortunately), straight into traffic, again with no apparent realisation that it is moving. They just GO when the mood takes them, even if a vehicle is passing at the time.

That’s what happened to me, late one night.

I wasn’t even going fast, having left Bute very late I had just decided to have a nice amble home around 45 mph on the dark and deserted roads from the wee ferry.

Not long off the ferry, a boulder picked out in my headlight been suddenly stood up on my nearside, and decided it wanted to be on the other side of the road.

As I say NO BRAINS AT ALL IN DEER HEADS – this one just took off and ran straight into the nearside of my car.

It hit ME, I did not hit it.

The whole wing was bent in far enough that the gap line was gone and it touched the bonnet.

It smashed the indicator, and pushed it into the headlight unit it was bolted to, so that was smashed as well.

While the plastic bumper survived with few cracks, the sideways force sheared all the moulded-in fixing points.

So, my nice amble home after a relaxing day on Bute ended up with a drive on dark Scottish back roads with only one working headlight/sidelight, no nearside indicator, and a front bumper with no mountings – fortunately the latter did have a couple of small screws holding it to the wheel arch, so provided I didn’t go fast, or meet too many bumps, after I got it back in place it wasn’t likely to fall off.

That was probably about £400 in parts, and you could double or treble it for paint and labour – none of which I could afford, and was well below my insurance excess (and I would have lost my no-claims too).

I had to buy a headlight unit, which was real bummer since the MOT inspector decided the other one no longer met his standards due to dim beam (which had always been fine in the past, despite being dim), so had to buy two that year.

DIY bumper mounting fix too, fitted parts myself, and eventually persuaded the wing to move over and restore the bonnet gap shut line – I had to this for non-cosmetic reasons anyway, as all the mounting points for the headlight unit had been moved when it was destroyed.

I thought I’d bore the pants off you with this tale, as I just spotted someone who suffered a similar fate thank to a DUMB DEER, in broad daylight.

At least that deer in the video doesn’t look as if it will attack again.

I don’t know what happen to the one that hit me. I was too busy with my car, and like a good Glaswegian would probably have kicked its head in had I found it, such was my mood.

But you’re lucky if they do that – sometime they try to jump OVER cars.

But again, are so DUMB they see only the bonnet, and don’t realise there’s a taller passenger compartment coming along just behind it.



Sometimes they get caught in headlights.


This one’s probably not going to try that again.


I suggest you DON’T feel sorry for ‘Bambi’.

In any encounter with deer, the chances of an unprotected (or even protected, look at the top car pic) human coming of better are not good. Also, an instinctive, involuntary swerve to avoid one could lead to a head-on collision between two vehicles. Even at 30 mph that means a collision speed of almost 60 mph between them.

For example…

Biker badly hurt in deer collision south of Jedburgh

I suppose we should be glad we don’t have moose!

Hitchhiking Moose

Hitchhiking Moose


08/10/2018 - Posted by | Transport | ,

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