There is somewhere around 1 million animal related accidents in the United States every year. I have even heard of a few planes hiting deer on runways while either taking off or landing. This is the first time I have ever heard of a deer causing a helicopter to crash.
According to KUTV CBS 2, The Utah Department of Natural Resources contracted a crew from Australia to capture elk for research purposes. The crew was in the process of netting a cow elk, which jumped and hit the tail rotor of the helicopter.
“This almost severed the tail rotor and ended the flight of this chopper. The 2 people aboard the chopper are okay except a few small cuts and bruises. They were both checked out by Fruitland EMS. As for the chopper not so good. Not something you see every day when an elk brings down a chopper.” – Wasatch County Search and Rescue Facebook page
The accident happened near Currant Creek Reservoir at 4:38 p.m. 12 Feb 2018, according to Wasatch County Sheriff’s Deputy Jared Rigby.