Outside Looking In
It seems that nearly every time I drive back from Minneota to my home in Willmar, the deer sense that I'm on the road and began prancing from one field to another in front of me.
It gets a little like an obstacle course along Highway 23, most notably from Granite Falls to Raymond, braking and swerving to avoid hitting the deer.
I've been fortunate to only have hit one deer while driving; that coming nearly 20 years ago near Brooten on a February evening. The deer bounded out of the ditch and ran into the front passenger side of my vehicle and then skidded on its side 30 yards down the road in front of me as I stepped on the brakes.
The deer lay in the middle of the road and I was quite sure it was dead, so I pulled my damaged vehicle to the shoulder and walked up to the deer in order to pull it off to the side of the road so other vehicles wouldn't hit it.
As I reached down to grab the back of the deer's legs, the deer jumped up and ran off into the woods.
As the weather warms up, the deer have become much more active in search of food and water. Body shops has been busy lately with van increase in deer-vehicle collisions.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, there are a few things to look for when trying to avoid a collision with a deer, although nothing is a guarantee:
Peak deer hours are generally from sunset to midnight. From sunset to midnight and during the hours just before and after and after sunrise are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
Look for deer crossing signs and use drive with caution through these zones. Looked for roads that divide agricultural fields from wooded areas. Deer often cross the roads from where their forest home to a field to feed.
If you spot a deer, know that they very seldom run alone. If you see one deer, chances are that others may be nearby.
Use high beam headlights if driving at night, when there is no oncoming traffic. The higher light will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
A deer’s eyes consist of more rods than cones, which is why it is able to see very clearly, even at night. However, when a car’s headlight beam falls into their eyes, the deer becomes blinded by the bright light. Until its eyes adjust to that heightened level, it may freeze and stare into your headlights.
If you spot a deer, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
Stay in your lane when braking for a deer in or near your path. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car-deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
Do not rely on deer-deterring devices. Deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions and are a waste of money.
If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.
In the event a deer damages your car contact your insurance agent or company representative to report the incident.
It's going to be a busy weekend in Minneota with some community members hosting garage sales, some businesses offering specials, and high school juniors and seniors attending prom.
The 10th annual citywide garage will be held on Friday and Saturday at various time pre-determined by each host.
A few of the businesses will be offering discount prices and selected merchandise to take advantage of the many garage sale shoppers expected to be eager for a bargain.
Check out this week's Mascot ad to find the homes that are advertising their particular items for sale, as well as the businesses participating.
If you get hungry while garage sale shopping, City Hall Bar and Grill is offering a "buy-one-get-one-free" of its delicious Smashburger and fries.
The Mascot will have snacks and baked goods for sale, as well as a few garage sale items. And we will be offering two months free for a one-year pair subscription, and one month free for a six-month paid subscription.
J's Dream is offering 20 percent of all sales, while the Arched Door is giving a 20 percent discount on gifts and decor.
The junior/senior prom will be held from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Grand March begins at 6 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. The dance and after-prom activities will be held at the Heritage Event Center on the farm of Dale and Heidi Fier south of Taunton.
Following the Grand March, students will board buses and be driven to the Heritage Event Center where there will be games, activities, hayrides, prizes, food and a DJ.
The students will re-board the buses and return to the school at 2 a.m.