Release your brakes before impact? I never thought of such a thing. I once broadsided the neighbors yellow lab with a 2 stroke 250. Didn't much hurt the dog, I had a scab on about everything that stuck out. Shorts, tennis shoes, wife beater shirt. Almost got by with it, and have to wonder if I could have stayed up if I had released the brakes, and maybe blipped the throttle on the way over him.The odor of roadkill is one good warning of an increased danger of hitting deer in particular.
Dusk and dawn near bodies of water especially during the dark of the moon, slow down and watch for any visible deer. Where you see one there are others. If one has crossed another will likely follow. Don't rely on them to keep moving away, pivoting back across your path is one of their favorite tactics.
When a collision looks inevitable you don't have to go down. Straighten your course and brace, release your brakes before impact and coast to a stop to asses damage.
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Cowpieapex's description of the correct mindset for riding in deer country is spot on. Don't look at the friggin deer, look at where it came from. Ride slower at deer-thirty.
As for the cage drivers, don't assume that they are any smarter than a deer.