Deer following you?

Between May and July, most does give birth to one or two fawns. And like any mother, she has a strong instinct to protect her young from harm.

You may not see yourself as a threat. But from the doe’s point of view, you might be. Especially if you have a dog with you. She may turn toward you and stare directly at you. She may even take a few steps toward you, or follow you for a distance.

It can be unnerving. Is your safety at risk? Will the deer attack your dog? What should you do?

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do.ITNTHPW-1635Z35K4jhGL10yfU_rKIrDx9B2cafzRQbf1eBSzMJPjPWPiLUHonH_vQDZDqI2nZ4dwqiJs_ra-N2z4YYRyBvUSFk5DEa7WxvU0OEQL1288Nb2Gdc_jxxkRwFi-EmgL7_68uKTeQZkIBraER38z1yxJuBfLcxPnDxPThKHFwJv1lsNyqBlM8xhe8VbT_8.jpg

Understand the doe’s behaviour

  • Even if you don’t see a fawn, chances are there are one or two hidden nearby. Just as we protect our children from a potential predator, the doe wants you and your dog far away from her babies.

Change your route

  • Turn around and walk in the opposite direction, cross the street, or both. When the doe feels you’re a safe distance away, she’ll lose interest in you.

Be alert when walking your dog

  • Always keep your dog on a leash.
  • If you encounter a deer, immediately shorten the leash so that your dog is kept close to you on the far side of the deer. Stop it from barking if you can.
  • Walk in the opposite direction away from the deer.
  • Don’t let the leash go. To a deer, a dog is a predator. Letting the leash go will escalate the situation and could lead to your dog’s injury as the deer defends itself or its young.

Be yard-wise

  • Always check your yard for deer before letting your dog out.
  • A deer’s natural response to danger is to run. Always leave it an escape route.
  • If a deer feels “cornered” or its babies are threatened by a dog, it may defensively flail out with its front legs or butt with its head.
  • If this happens, get control of your dog as quickly as possible and leave the scene.

And when driving, if you see a doe crossing the road, expect that two or more fawns could follow. Observe speed limits and slow down in areas where deer are known to cross.