Richard Rice was not out looking to bag a deer yesterday morning, but the 19-year-old from Springfield is now awaiting delivery of a near-perfect set of antlers.
Rice was driving north on Backlick Road, just before its intersection with Richmond Highway, at about 7 a.m., he said, when he suddenly saw a deer ahead on the right.
"I saw the deer's eyes, about 15 feet ahead. I was doing 40 miles an hour, and then it just came out in front of me, and just stood there," Rice said. He said he slammed on his brakes but was unable to avoid hitting the animal.
He said the badly injured deer died before a hunter summoned by authorities arrived to kill it.
Rice said the collision with the 165-pound buck did an estimated $2,000 worth of damage to the front end of his 1983 Ford Escort.
Army Master Sgt. Arliss Bravers, who was hunting with his bow and arrow at nearby Fort Belvoir at the time, was brought to the scene, and he and Rice made a deal: Bravers got to dress the deer and keep the meat and agreed to give Rice the head and antlers.
Bravers said the deer yielded about 70 pounds of venison, which retails at $13.95 a pound. "It's already in the freezer," he said. "I've got a family of five, and they'll love it."
Bravers said deer are not uncommon in the Fort Belvoir area. In fact, there is a yellow, diamond-shaped sign with a leaping deer on it to warn motorists of deer crossing 300 feet from the site of yesterday's collision. Bravers said it faces the direction opposite the one Rice was traveling.