It’s harvest season. This is the time of year when we see combines in the fields, but that also means it’s deer season. The white-tailed deer, considered an endangered species in Illinois in the early 1900s, is seeing a population boom, with current estimates placing Illinois’ deer population at over 600,000 deer.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, deer in our area become especially active from October through December, mainly at dawn and dusk. Be aware of your surroundings and slow down if you see deer while you are driving. Deer tend to travel in groups and may dart onto the road or double back after crossing a street.
Several years ago, Sangamon County resident Liz Eilers Bron was driving around Lake Springfield with her husband and two grandchildren, counting the deer they would see. This experience inspired Liz, under the pen name Nana Liz, to write an upbeat counting song, “I See Deer,” along with two companion children’s books, “I See Deer” and “Meet the Deer.”
With guidance from Dean Williams, Liz produced a music video for “I See Deer.” The music video features Liz, ten animated deer, and the Brons’ 1952 MG TD Roadster. Prior to the pandemic, Liz would travel around to schools and children’s groups to perform “I See Deer” and read her books.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Liz’s “I See Deer” video caught the attention of James May of the popular BBC automotive comedy television series Top Gear and its Amazon spin off series Grand Tour. May, intrigued by the 1952 MG, promoted the video during a YouTube broadcast in which the catchy tune seems to be stuck in his head as he opens his mail.
Thanks in part to May’s promotion, the “I See Deer” video now has almost 60,000 views on YouTube and the song became one of the top children’s songs in the UK. To learn more and to view the “I See Deer” music video, visit www.iseedeer.net.
The refrain of “I See Deer” contains the line “I see deer in the rearview mirror.” Given the abundance of deer in populated areas of our state, the rearview mirror is a good place for a driver to see deer. In 2020, there were 13,787 motor vehicle crashes involving deer in Illinois, including 10 which resulted in fatalities. In that year, Sangamon County was the county with the fourth most deer/vehicle crashes. The top 5 counties in 2020 according to DNR are as follows: 1. Cook 469; 2. Madison 375; 3. Will 322; 4. Sangamon 308; and 5. Peoria 306.