There are some UP traditions that are cherished, like going to the UP State Fair, snow days in May, and baby’s first pasty. And then there are a few UP traditions that aren’t so cherished.
Like your first, or your second, or your third car-deer accident.
Quick show of hands here– how many of you have ever run into a deer with your car? …see? I’m guessing there are more people in the UP who have hit a deer than those who haven’t.
In Michigan almost half of all car-deer accidents occur between October and December. In the UP, a quarter of those happen in just two counties–Delta & Dickinson. What gives, you guys? Was it something we said?
Of course, if you’ve ever driven M-95 between Iron Mountain & Republic or M-35 south of Escanaba on a dark fall evening, you’re probably not surprised by that. In those areas you’ll often see more deer on the side of the road than cars coming the other way.
And it’s getting worse. According to AAA of Michigan, car-deer accidents across the state are increasing because the deer herd is increasing. Fewer people are hunting these days, which means fewer deer are harvested, which means more deer are available to play a round of “Let’s jump in front of a car and see what happens” on any given UP night.
Help us, deer hunters. You’re our only hope.
So, take it easy on the roads the next few months. Drive the speed limit. Pay attention to your surroundings and not your phone. And if you do see a deer in the road, do what experts say to do– don’t swerve. Head straight for the deer, because odds are it’ll move before you get there.
And I don’t know if this is possible, but maybe try to avoid Delta & Dickinson Counties the next few months?? Maybe?
After all, there are some UP traditions we want you to uphold, like jumping in a cold lake after a hot sauna. But a UP tradition like hitting a deer with your car? Not so much.
I’m Jim Koski, and that’s another slice of “Life in the 906.”