Part of the Bay Area News Group

Don’t mess with deer!

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, November 7th, 2006 at 9:54 am in Breeding season, deer.

Fall is when buck deer are "in rut" or exhibiting breeding behavior and becoming more aggressive, according to the California Department of Fish and Game. You need to be careful when out walking your dog. An aggressive  deer encounter can be dangerous for you both.

I just had my first report of a local encounter between an aggressive buck deer and a lady walking her dog. You can read more about it in today’s column. http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/living/columnists/gary_bogue/
Last year about this time, a buck attacked two dogs in Orinda, killing one of them. In San Diego County a man died after being gored by a buck he surprised in his backyard, and a couple was attacked by a buck in their garden in Mendocino County. Deer involved in these attacks were killed. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/news05/05111.html
As I say in my column, suburban deer, in particular, can be a problem because they are not as afraid of humans as the wild deer back in the hills that have little or no human contact.

When walking your dog, make sure you have a leash so you can control your dog if you run into an aggressive deer. If that happens, leave the area immediately and give the deer plenty of space.

DFG says you can avoid some of these situations by not feeding deer and by deer-proofing your property. To help you, DFG has a 24-page publication, "A Gardener’s Guide to Preventing Deer Damage," available for printing at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hunting/deer/gardenersguide.pdf The guide has chapters on deer-resistant plants, deer repellents and fencing suggestions.

Deer are also a focus of DFG’s "Keep Me Wild" campaign. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/index.html

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