Residents in parts of Oregon are being warned to keep their distance from deer after numerous reports surfaced about the animals becoming aggressive, with one killing a dog and another attacking a woman walking her dog.
A total of 15 reports of aggressive deer have been reported since June and mostly since June 14, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reported Wednesday.
The dog was killed by a doe in a yard in Medford. The woman who was attacked was walking her dog in Ashland. Reports have also come from Jacksonville.
“People in Ashland tolerate deer eating their landscaping because they love having them around, until they start to get aggressive like they are now,” Matthew Vargas, assistant district wildlife biologist, said in a statement. “The best way to keep them away is to not feed them. You can also spray a garden hose at them if they are in your yard—any kind of hazing that doesn’t actually harm them.
“Dogs can also spark aggression, especially in does caring for fawns. Dog owners might consider not walking their dog in areas where these deer problems are happening, at least for a few weeks, until fawns become more mobile and does less protective.”
This is the time of year when black-tailed deer are raising their fawns and will protect them against dogs and other perceived threats, wildlife officials said.
“Bucks are more likely to be aggressive during the rut in October-November, but can exhibit this behavior all year when they are being fed,” ODFW stated. “Most recent complaints about aggressive deer involve does, but one report was about an aggressive buck.”
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The ODFW offered these recommendations:
Don’t approach deer. Keep your distance from them.
Keep dogs on a leash.
Don’t pick up fawns or get near them. Does are protective of fawns, and may also leave them alone for periods to go off and forage on their own.
Don’t feed wildlife. It habituates them to people which makes them less afraid and more aggressive.
Stay alert, especially at dawn and dusk. Be aware of your surroundings and areas where deer may be.
Photos courtesy of the ODFW.
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