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Collision with a Deer

Officer Jim Heimerl, a Minneapolis policeman, was taking part in a 16.3 mile run in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Jim was four miles into the race, in a cluster of runners not far off the pace of the leaders, when two deer ambled out of the woods and onto the road. The startled buck, no doubt distressed to find himself in the middle of a human marathon, began zigzagging wildly through the runners. Jim didn’t even see the animal until the two of them collided and sprawled together onto the asphalt highway. Jim fell flat on his face, received a concussion and opened a nasty gash on his forehead that required 23 stitches.

“Luckily there was a doctor running the race not far behind me,” Jim reported. “Because of the way my heart was pumping from running, I lost a lot of blood in a hurry. The doctor applied pressure and got it stopped.” The buck, however, paid an even higher price for his encounter. The collision broke his leg and his back, and the only humane response was to quickly dispense him to the ranks of the dearly departed.

Jim had already been admitted to a nearby hospital for repairs when state game officials called to tell him Wisconsin law holds that anyone who hits and kills a deer on a Wisconsin roadway can claim the deer. But since he didn’t feel up to dealing with a dead deer, and since he didn’t want to store the carcass in his station wagon in 80-degree heat while he recuperated overnight in the hospital, Jim declined the offer. He lamented his luck. “I hunt deer for 14 years without getting a thing, and then I get one while I’m running a race.”

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