You may have felt pity for deer each time while watching jungle predator vs deer videos where finally one unlucky buck gets caught and turns into a delicious meal for those ferocious animals.
Even when we look at these cute creatures, we usually feel like they are pretty playful, graceful, gentle, and docile in nature.
Despite being all of them as mentioned, deer can get dangerous and hostile sometimes that you may end up getting hurt by one of them!
So the question is, do deer really attack humans? If you are a deer hunter or a newbie in this field, most probably you have already asked this question to yourself.
And today’s article is going to answer all of your queries regarding this matter in detail so that you can save yourself from unexpected injuries.
Are Deer Aggressive Enough to Attack Humans?
Usually, deer are not that aggressive kind of animal, like other carnivorous ones. But if they somehow find you invading their space, they can get aggressive for sure.
When they get aggressive, they actually show it through certain behavior such as crouching and grunting.
When they start grunting, you will most probably hear a kind of air explosion sound coming from their mouth. And when it comes to crouching, you will see their legs are flexed and they are pointing their angler towards the creature they are about to attack right that moment.
An average adult deer will weigh around 200 pounds and will have a height of 5-6 feet. This means, if you ever get into an accidental fight with a deer, things are going to be really tough and you may end up hurting yourself badly!
Things can get really worse if the deer is an angler horn one and if he finds you as an enemy!
Though deer attacks are not that common like other ferocious animals, they do happen sometimes. In the name of hunting, housing, and invading lands of deer for different human purposes, deer attacks are increasing with time.
Sometimes they attack just to defend themselves from potential harm as well.
What Makes Deer Attack Humans?
You may have this curiosity by now that why would deer attack humans? Well, there are certain reasons behind this unusual behavior of deer.
Let’s talk about them one by one.
#1. Territorial Nature
Like some other animal species, deer are also known to be territorial creatures. They love to stay at their place and don’t like the idea of being invaded by some external forces.
So, they tend to get aggressive and attack humans if it seems like humans are invading their lands.
Since the number of deer hunters is increasing with time and their territories are being invaded for different reasons, humans are having rapid encounters with deer more than ever before.
And that’s the reason you will come across death news of people who died out of road accidents due to deer encounters.
#2. Motherly Defense
Motherly love is amazing, a mother will do everything possible to save their kids. Whether it be animals or humans, this equation doesn’t change.
When it comes to deer fawns, mother deer attack humans sometimes out of their natural motherly defensive instinct.
According to reports, mule deer and whitetail deer have been observed to attack humans when their fawns were threatened by humans with the purpose to hunt them down.
You may come across fawns roaming around lonely in the woods, but the moment you take steps closer to them, you will most probably get attacked by the mother deer.
It seems like the mother deer has abandoned her fawns, but in reality, she is always around to save her kids.
#3. When Mating Season Arrives!
An interesting fact about deer attacks is that rutting bucks are mostly known for going crazy at times and attacking people around.
Rutting actually means a certain period of time when deer usually look for their mates. This may sound funny, but yes this is the time when they do a lot of violent stuff just out of the craziness.
If you happen to meet a testosterone-charged deer, it’s better to avoid them if you are not in a good position to hunt him. Because these crazy bucks don’t have any fear right then and can attack you even if you don’t do any harm to them.
However, most hunters try to chase down rutting bucks since they are easy to trace and kill. So, if you are also one of them, you must know and follow the safety precautions, before you go after one of those crazy bucks.
#4. Defensive Mechanism
As we have already talked about it that usually deer tend to avoid fights and they try to run away as they have great speedy legs.
But if they have no space left to run away, they will more probably attack the hunter just to defend themselves. Especially when the potential threat is just within an attacking distance, they tend to strike first.
How Fatal Can Deer Attacks Be?
Depending on the severity of the attack and your tricks to avoid them, the type of injuries may differ from one another.
Especially when they feel frightened, timid, provoked, or surprised, they tend to attack us humans that can cause severe injuries. Until and unless you become a threat to them, you are quite safe.
But, if things go quite opposite, then you may end up hurting yourself really bad as deer tend to charge, stomp and kick in such scenarios.
And, the worst part of it is to be attacked by deer antlers! These rough and tough horns are enough to make you experience bruising, skin lacerations, and puncture wounds.
Deer hooves are simultaneously dangerous as well since they can blow on your limbs, torso, and even had, leaving permanent damage for a lifetime! However, this is pretty rare that deer attacks would turn out to be fatal.
How to Survive Deer Attacks?
Now that you know about the possible reasons why deer may attack you and how fatal this could be, let’s talk about some effective ways to fend off deer attacks.
#1. Avoidance and Prevention
As we know prevention is better than cure, it goes the same way when it comes to surviving deer attacks. The best way to avoid deer attacks is to stay away from violent, aggressive, rutting deer.
Whether you are hiking, hunting, biking, or camping, the moment you notice an aggressive bear, just leave the place.
You shouldn’t put yourself in danger willingly, rather you must have an escaping route that takes you as far as possible, out of deer’s reach.
Don’t let them understand your presence, otherwise, they will more likely come after you charging from behind! And, no one can win the race against deer, not even Usain Bolt!
For your kind information, deer usually look for mating during the fall, October to December specifically. As you already know, rutting deer are normally aggressive, so avoid camping, hiking, or hunting during this period.
Meanwhile, spring is the season when mother deer take care of their young fawns, so this is also recommended to stay away from them during spring.
#2. Be a Good Observer
If you observe the movement of an aggressive deer closely, you will notice that they give fighting signals through different body parts.
When a deer is about to attack, you may observe the following signs.
- Head held high above shoulders or at least flat.
- The tail will be tucked right against their rump tightly.
- By dropping ears, it will give a stern look.
- The ears will be pointed forward towards the potential threat as they perceive.
- Their nose will be looking for the source smell and held upward.
- And finally, they will give a laser-focused look to their target and wait for even a slight movement.
Being a good observer here is pretty much needed to avoid potential deer attacks. When you know these signs and act accordingly, most probably you will be able to save yourself by leaving the place as early as possible.
#3. Don’t Be Panicked
Worrying or panicking in a time of danger doesn’t really help to solve the problem, rather they make you more vulnerable to fall for the trap of harm. The same goes with deer attacks, don’t be panicked, just stay calm and do whatever seems practically effective right then.
First, try to find out a climbable tree near your place. If you see aggressive deer approaching you, just climb up and stay on the branches until and unless the deer loses its interest and leaves.
If you don’t find any climbable tree nearby, look for a tree trunk, boulder, at least a trail sign to use as a shield. Try everything possible to scare it off.
But if nothing works and finally the unwanted accident happens, make a fetal position by curling your body down and cover your head and neck area as much as possible.
You should grab the antlers or the legs if possible to minimize the attack. After a few blows, the deer will eventually leave when it doesn’t find you as a threat anymore.
So that’s that! Deer are generally peaceful animals who just keep themselves busy roaming around, eating, and looking after their fawns.
They have no enmity with humans, nor do they have eating habits like carnivores. But, like any other creature, they have their defensive mechanism and they may attack when they perceive you as a threat.
So, we hope you got a pretty clear idea about “do deer attack humans” from this article. Keep in mind all these pieces of information while going hunting, hiking, or camping to avoid deer attacks.