The other day, as I was cycling home after dark, I noticed the flashing lights of a police car pulled off to the side of the Liberty Road, just west of Scio Ridge. Hopefully he's ticketing a speeder or a DUI, I thought to myself. The thought that it could have been an accident did briefly rear itself in my head, but since there wasn't any traffic diversion going on, I figured that it wasn't such an encounter. As I rode closer, I didn't see any car ahead of the patrol car. Perhaps the other driver has already left, and the policeman is putting together some additional paperwork or something, I thought. However, as I continued to ride forward, I noticed that the police officer was out of his vehicle, an automatic rifle in his hands, and he was walking toward something struggling and pawing around on the ground.
Specifically a deer that had obviously been struck by a vehicle and was lying just off the road. As I passed by the officer, he was crouching and aiming his rifle at the deer; taking an angle so that the bullet would be more likely to pass through the skull and hit the asphalt at a more oblique angle. Ah, shit, I thought as I rode away, I don't want to be too close when he shoots the deer.
As I rode away, I heard a single report.
The next day, the asphalt was darker in that spot, a reminder until the next heavy rain, of the ultimately fatal interaction between cervid and sedan.