Yes, if the animal, any animal and not just deer, is smaller than your vehicle, just hit it! Taking the chance of injuring or killing another human by jumping on the brakes or swerving is just plain irresponsible. As a motorcyclist, if the car in front of me made a panic stop to avoid a dog, I'll be the one killed for sure. The comment "as long as no one's tailgating you" makes me laugh since so very few drivers these days actually use their rear-view mirror - they don't have a clue if anyone has been behind them for the last 5 minutes!
I boycott Nationwide Insurance because they run at least two different commercials on avoiding animals - not taking into account the consequences of others. These commercials foster the idea for less experienced drivers that its okay to kill a human in order to save a cat. If it does happen to me, and I live through it, I will make that driver miserable for the rest of their life for making that stupid choice.
Now, don't get me started on those thoughtless, selfish people using their phones while attempting to drive . . .