Commute turns into a rodeo after collision with deer

It started out as a typical commute home for Ramsey City Councilmember David Elvig as he returned home at the end of a long day Nov. 14, but things were about to get interesting for him and the 160th Lane neighborhood.

After being hit by two vehicles, this injured deer was lassoed by Ramsey City Councilmember David Elvig to keep it out of traffic. Photo submitted
After being hit by two vehicles, this injured deer was lassoed by Ramsey City Councilmember David Elvig to keep it out of traffic. Photo submitted

With the sun setting, Elvig was driving north on Highway 47, passing a vehicle turning on to 160th Avenue, when something large hit his truck.

“A deer had tried to shoot between the two cars,” Elvig said.

Elvig’s truck and a second passing vehicle struck the deer.

The police were called and Elvig tried to deflect traffic from the area as the deer lay dying in one of the lanes of 160th Lane intersection and a few feet off of Highway 47.

“We were waiting for it to die before moving it off the road,” Elvig said.

But as Elvig talked to the other driver, the deer’s head popped up and down for a few minutes.

“After 20 minutes the deer stumbles to its feet with a broken horn, bleeding out and completely senseless,” Elvig said.

The injured buck soon started staggering into traffic.

The traffic was not slowing down and the deer was within feet of the highway, Elvig said.

There were several suggestions from the growing crowd of neighbors arriving to watch the action on what to do.

Traffic continued to speed by on Highway 47.

“(Drivers) eventually saw the deer right at edge of road at the last minute and all slam on their brakes nearly causing rear-end accidents for another 15 minutes,” Elvig said.

The neighbors and the drivers waiting along the road started getting concerned about the possibility of an even worse accident happening because of the deer, he said.

“It was getting to be a dangerous situation,” Elvig said.

He was starting to imagine the deer splattered on a smashed window, he said.

Elvig said he knew he had to get the deer away from traffic and he went back to his truck, looking for something tie the deer up with.

The only thing he found was a ratchet strap, Elvig said.

With the hoots and hollers from the crowd, Elvig attempted to lasso the wounded 200-pound animal.

Elvig managed to lassoed only the antler.

With the deer on the rope, it was a “now what” moment for Elvig.

After giving the deer a quick jerk to pull it off its feet failed, Elvig started to pull it across the road.

“I was hoping to just pull the deer over and away from the roadway,” he said.

As Elvig pulled on the strap, the deer locked up its knees and remained upright and resisting.

“It was a bit of a tug of war,” Elvig said.

The deer was on asphalt so it was easy to pull it over to the side of the road but once they hit grass it was harder, Elvig said.

Then a sudden thought hits Elvig – what if the deer decides to charge.

Looking for a means to escape the potential charge, Elvig spotted a stop sign.

It was something to hide behind, he said.

The deer did not charge and Elvig tied the deer to the stop sign and waited for the police, who were delayed because of the shift change and responding to another deer versus vehicle accident on Nowthen Boulevard.

Once the deer was secured, the neighbors broke out in whistles, cheers and applause.

Unfortunately in the end the deer had to be put down as it suffered massive head trauma.

The damage to Elvig’s vehicle was estimated at $1,500.

So far this month, the police department has responded to about nine deer-vehicle accidents, said Police Chief Jim Way.

But this was very different to find the deer lassoed, he said.

“Elvig did everyone a favor by keeping the deer out of traffic,” Way said.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]