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Monday, June 24, 2013

Question About Deer Behavior

(Two posts today. Please scroll down)

Last night, I went out into my backyard at dusk. There stood a young buck almost identical to the one pictured at the left.

No matter how much I waved my arms, clapped my hands, and shouted, he did not flee or turn away.  On the contrary, he stood his ground and became aggressive in his stance.  The closer I got, the more he stamped his front legs and stared me down.

What was going on?  I've never seen a deer behave in that manner when it isn't rutting season.


  1. Like any wild animal, deer will stand their ground if they feel trapped or threatened, especially when hemmed in by urban environments.

    We have deer in our neighborhood, but so far their worse offense has been eating the wife's flowers.

  2. SF,
    Thank you for the information.

    The deer wasn't in any way trapped, however. He had exits available at both sides and behind him -- lots of space, too. Another buck was milling around behind him and strolled off when I approached.

  3. I know next to nothing about deer behavior except that his seems rather odd. It sounds like he was protecting something. On the other hand, I wouldn't think it would be wise to approach such an animal.

  4. I think SF has it right. Beware of all wild animals because, well, because they are wild animals. Real bears aren’t cuddly, and no one but an idiot will try to pick up a cute little Raccoon. Wild animals are wonderful ... but only from a distance.

  5. Wait until the real rutting season. We had a young male deer across the street last year challenging anything and everything including cars. Give him his space.

  6. Maybe the deer was sick, scared, confused, no way to know.

    We just got back from vacation in the Great Smokey Mountains, we did not wee any bear or deer. However we did see a huge elk, sitting in the middle of a field on the side of the road. He was alone, no other elk around. That is strange too, because they usually travel in herds I think.

    Right Truth

  7. Rabies is always a possibility. Best to stay clear of any animal that exhibits odd behavior.

  8. I don't have much personal experience with deer, but from what I've heard about them, it does sound like odd behavior. I think urban environments make wild animals act differently than they would otherwise act.

  9. I think the deer might have been suffering the effects of Obama Care or sequestration.

  10. My mind went immediately to something like Robert's response! (I think I need to stop politics for a while!?)

    Hey, AOW...you know my stepdaughter's on that sailing trip...it's a year now; she's in French Polynesia, was in the ocean and suddenly felt something nudge her leg; IT WAS A SHARK! She said it seemed as shocked as she was and it swam away faster than she could move.........

    SO...I'm glad her shark and your deer didn't advance! NOTHING scares that girl but she said it put her off swimming for a while!
    Be careful, my DEER...we need you on the blogosphere..tell Bambi to take a hike!

  11. Deer, oh deer, oh DEER!

    Is there an end to the story? Obviously you must have gotten away unharmed, but what happened to the creature in question?

    It's not still out in your yard stamping the ground with its hooves, and staring at you malevolently through the windows, is it?

    It does sound disquieting to say the least, but I tend to feel awfully sorry for wild creatures stuck in an urban habitat.

  12. FT,
    I'm not sure that I would have been unharmed. I backed off and didn't go over to my neighbor's house on the other side of where the deer was standing.

    I've seen deer around here for a long time. However, never so many bucks! When rutting season begins this fall, those bucks will become aggressive and a major road hazard. Bucks have been known to attack cars sitting a traffic lights during rutting season.

    It's not still out in your yard stamping the ground with its hooves, and staring at you malevolently through the windows, is it?

    No. But I'm not enthusiastic about going out into the back yard near dusk now.

  13. I had something very similar happen to me, this morning. I have been trying to figure it out as well. I am now afraid to walk my dog, as that is when it happened to me.

    1. Wendy,
      At this time of year? The annual aggressiveness of rutting season might explain what happened to me, but spring is not rutting season. Therefore, what you observed is quite disturbing.

      Deer can get rabies, you know.

      Be careful out there!


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