Boykins woman bags her buck

Published 9:39 am Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An 8-point whitetail lies along Blackhead Signpost Road near Courtland after a motorist hit it at 4:15 a.m. Tuesday. The investigating Virginia State Police trooper said it was the third deer accident he investigated on his Tuesdsay midnight shift. GWEN ALBERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

COURTLAND—Heading out to go Christmas shopping at 4 a.m. Tuesday, Shonda Mason of Boykins got an early holiday surprise for her boyfriend — a big 8-point buck.

“I’m getting it mounted,” said Christopher Lynch as he stood in the rain along a dark Blackhead Signpost Road outside Courtland looking at the deer Mason hit and killed with the sport utility vehicle she was driving.

The deer accident was the third one on Virginia State Police Trooper R.L. Kenley’s midnight shift. It was also the fifth he investigated since beginning a string of midnights on Thursday.

“Stuff’s moving,” Kenley said. “It will get worse before it gets better.”

Five minutes into his Thursday midnight shift, Kenley hit a deer. It tore the driver’s side mirror off his cruiser.

“Did $600 damage to my car, which has 8,000 miles on it,” he said.

Nelson Lafon, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said deer are more active during the fall breeding season than any other time of the year, and a majority of all deer/vehicle collisions occur in October, November and December. Wildlife biologists estimate the white-tailed deer population in Virginia to be at 900,000 animals. About 200,000 are taken during the hunting seasons.

Mason was on her way to Chesterfield to meet her aunt for a day of shopping. The deer ran from the left side of the road into the path of her Ford Explorer, which had to be towed.

“I didn’t have time to stop,” the 31-year-old said. “(It sounded) like a loud crash. He went over to there (to a ditch) and fell down.”

Mason, who canceled her shopping trip, estimates she was driving 45 to 50 mph.

Kenley noted that taking a road-kill deer is legal as long as it’s reported to the authorities.