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Cars, cows and deer...oh, my!

November 22, 2010 - Taste Buds
I love cows. I love deer. I love cows in a field surrounded by strong, sturdy fence. I love deer deep in the woods, far away from pavement. At this point, I would normally say I love them both on a plate but that makes Bud Em I won't say it. (Instead, I will wait until the end of this blog then I'll share a venison recipe with you.) What I don't like is finding deer and cows on the road in the path of my car! Both recently happened to me. I managed to miss the herd of cattle but the deer crashed into the front of my car dead-center causing damage that will cost me and my insurance company a pretty penny. Driving in the Ohio Valley has become much like riding in bumper cars where we are constantly bombarded with deer hoping to show off to their friends by "not" dodging our cars. It's an epidemic if you ask me! According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, more than 25,000 deer-vehicle collisions happened last year in this state. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates the 2010 deer population at 750,000. According to the Insurance Information Institute, vehicle damage from deer collisions averages about $3,000 per claim nationally. As we all know, crashes that include bodily injury could increase costs significantly. There are way too many factors that can cause these type of collisions. There's those darn glaring headlights. Maybe it could be the blowing horns. Perhaps it is just that fast-moving vehicles frighten deer, causing them to act erratically. But just is that deer are not the brightest things out there. And everything becomes a larger issue during this time of the year, when deer are more on the move due to mating season. Although no one wants to injure a deer or be involved in a crash with one, it happens. Taking the proper precautions and identifying potential hazards in time to react are key elements in avoiding deer-vehicle collisions: -- Know when deer are more likely to be out. Deer are most active between sunset and midnight. More than half of deer-vehicle collisions occur between 5 p.m. and midnight. -- Use extreme caution. Slow down and be alert. -- After dark, use your high-beam headlights when possible to illuminate deer eyes. -- Don't let prevention devices such as deer whistles give you a false sense of security ­ always watch for deer. -- Always wear your seat belt. -- Expect the unexpected. Deer can, and do, react in unexpected ways. -- Knowing how to react to a potential road hazard can make all the difference in preventing a collision. If you spot a deer while driving: -- Look for others; deer travel in groups. -- Don't swerve your vehicle to avoid hitting a deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, or you could collide with another vehicle. -- If you strike a deer, or a deer strikes you, contact local law enforcement as soon as possible. As for the herd of cattle that I managed to miss...that's another that will make its way to this blog in the near future! Now, for all you venison lovers out there, here is a new way to enjoy that moist and delicious tenderloin.

Grilled Venison Tenderloin 2 pounds venison tenderloin, cut into 2-inch chunks 1 quart apple cider 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon 2 (12 ounce) bottles barbecue sauce, your choice Directions: Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish, and pour enough apple cider in to cover them. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove, and pat dry. Discard apple cider, and return venison to the dish. Pour barbecue sauce over the chunks, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 more hours. Preheat grill. Remove meat from the refrigerator, and let stand for 30 minutes, or until no longer chilled. Wrap each chunk of venison in a slice of bacon, and secure with toothpicks. Brush the grill with olive oil when hot, and place bacon-wrapped venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. (Beware: The bacon will kick up some flames. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.) Grill, turning occasionally, until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, about 15 to 20 minutes. You may marinate with additional barbecue sauce, if desired. For lower fat version, substitute turkey bacon.


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