Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Deer convention

Posted January 19, 2011

Have you ever gotten a little too close to animals on your way to work?

I had two very close encounters with a pair of deer families while traveling this morning from my home to WRAL. I think the deer are having a convention outside the La Quinta in Cary. One charging buck missed my windshield by just a few inches. Someone commented on Facebook that my reflexes might be improved due to the 100 Days of Fitness campaign. I don't know, but I am extremely grateful I'm not headed to the body shop today. Of course, you’ve got to feel some sympathy for the deer and other animals. They’ve lost a lot of habitat with rapid growth.

One of the great things about working mornings at WRAL is you don't have to fight the traffic. But sometimes you battle the animals. Did I ever tell you about my showdown with a large beaver on Tryon Road while driving to work 14 years ago? That furry rascal did $1,500 to our new Ford Windstar. I was late for work and became the butt of newsroom jokes. My brother-in-law even took a photograph of the bloated beaver by the roadside and framed it for me.

Years ago, when I had Scott Mason’s lucky job as Tar Traveler, I interviewed Billy Eubanks on his massive muscle car collection off Highway 64 near Pittsboro. Billy paid for his hobby by repairing hundreds of cars involved in deer crashes near Jordan Lake.

Maybe it was the warmer weather this morning that had the deer roaming around a little more than usual. I don't know, but I'm going to try to be extra alert tomorrow. As for what the deer are discussing at their Cary convention this year, I welcome your comments. One topic might be Beige Grazing.


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  • lookn4spac Jan 21, 2011

    ...and just to clarify, it was your SISTER-in-law who braved that nasty NASTY smell and all those flies to forever immortalize that poor beaver's fate!

  • Frizz Jan 20, 2011

    I witnessed a PSD when I worked at Duke. I happened to see Rocky flick his tail for the last time. He shorted out the transformer for the North Building. The power outage fried the transformer to the building (which housed the University Data Center). It took all day to replace the transformer. Needless to say, Rocky is gone forever.

  • teachesesci Jan 20, 2011


    You may remember that NCSU used to be plagued with power failures that were humorously referred to as "PSD"s. Those were "Poor Squirrel Decisions" when the squirrels would crawl into areas at the substation.

    My only almost disaster encounter with a deer was when one jumped the hood of my car when I was on my way home from high school one day. Fortunately I drove a little car!

  • babbs Jan 20, 2011

    In 2009 my husband missed opening day of deer season, which is on a Saturday. The following day, which is a no hunting day in NC, he got his first buck of the season...hit with his Blazer!! We still laugh about that!

  • tarhillmom Jan 19, 2011

    My theory (worth two cents or less) is that the deer are roaming in the light of the full moon!! It seems I always see more when the moon is bright. Of course I live in the country so I see them pretty much every day.

  • jwstevens04 Jan 19, 2011

    We hit our first deer about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving--it was a doe. Not very big, but caused $2,600 of damage to the car. The funny son (who is 6) said, "I sure hope he's not with Santa!"

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jan 19, 2011

    In my 20 years of driving on North Carolina roads (I am 35 yrs old now), I have managed to hit a deer with each & every vehicle I have ever owned. I live in a highly deer populated area, and the deer in my neighborhood some how just "know" to stay out of my path. They literaly stand still on the side of the road until I pass. Person County deer seem to be smarter than other deers. But whenever I am in other areas, their crazy deer, seem to take much pride in their suicide game of jump into the road.

  • bleslie Jan 19, 2011

    Very interesting information Mrgup2. Thank you for sharing.

  • thinknc Jan 19, 2011

    My daughter encountered a deer convention Monday evening--deer standing on both sides of the road and in the a curve. One collided with the front of her truck. Thankfully, she's ok and the truck wasn't damaged too badly.

  • TheDude abides... Jan 19, 2011

    Deer are herding back together after the mating season. For most of the year, except for Nov-Dec (which coincides with hunting season), Deer separate into Male and female herds. During the mating season, deer are largely solitary in their search for "love".

    Yes, urban sprawl has been a big reason for the increase in deer-related accidents, but PLEASE look at the wildlife stats for NC. The deer population has EXPLODED in the last few decades.

    At one time (after the depression) you couldnt hardly find deer around here. Folks pert-near cleaned them out providing their families with meat. Some old WWII vets around home (Franklin Co.) say they "never saw a deer until they came home from the war".

    The govt released huge masses of them in Camp Butner to re-introduce the animals. Some western NC deer were shipped off to other states to re-populate their deer herds which were devastated as well.

    Just some FYI that many have never heard.




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