I grew up in rural Missouri, and I lived in rural Missouri for more than two years before moving to Colorado this fall. How I managed to live in the backwoods for so many years without being involved in any serious roadkill action is beyond me. My good luck ended on Wednesday night though, as the fiance and I headed out of Colorado in our attempt to stay ahead of a big winter storm on our drive to Missouri for the holidays.
We drove along the two-lane highway east of Kit Carson, Colorado, just ahead of the winter storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow on the communities behind us. The sky was still spitting snow when we saw more deer than we could count on the highway in front of us. Afraid to slam on our brakes since the roads were slick with winter weather, we slowed down and moved into the opposite lane of traffic.
Although we managed to avoid most of the deer on the highway that night, one that had been straddling the center line edged toward our side of the highway. Even sitting up high in our SUV, this big guy was eye-level with us when we hit him. Thankfully, he didn’t jump, and we didn’t lose control of the vehicle. He was killed instantly – a blessing, really.
Our SUV sustained more damage than we originally thought. Not only did we knock our our front headlight, our front bumper and grill are both broken. The front fender is badly dented over the wheel well and crushed near the front of the car. There’s even damage to the back door, which is dented in several spots. The bottom of the door curls upward now, and air seal has disappeared, making highway driving much louder than it was before.Thankfully, my fiance, the dog and I are all okay, and the SUV is drivable.
As a small town girl, I shouldn’t feel so shaken up over hitting a wild animal on the highway. These things happen, right? But the truth is that part of me really is a city girl who can’t bear the thought of hurting or killing an animal – wild or otherwise. I’m thankful that my fiance and I are alright, but I really wish we hadn’t had the encounter with the big buck of small town Colorado.