While it may seem that you are in control when you go out hunting, there is still the possibility of something very unexpected happening. Hunters are generally wary of bears or cougars because of the known attacks on humans, but not many hunters consider the very prey they are hunting to be dangerous. While it is true that most of the time deer hunting goes off without any problems. However there is a very real possibility of the deer turning on the hunter. While not as dangerous as, say, hog hunting, deer hunting does have its own risks. By nature, deer are very wary and afraid of humans and deer attacks are uncommon. This is because they are hardwired as being prey animals so they are very cautious of everything. But, if the conditions are right, there is the chance of a deer attack. In this article, I am going to give you some basic tips to prepare you for the possibility of being attacked by a deer. It is very unlikely it will ever happen, but just having some of these tips in the back of your mind can be very helpful.
First off, I will tell you when attacks are the most likely. During the rut, male deer are very aggressive and can be especially dangerous since their antlers are fully grown. Female deer are also liable to attack when they feel their young are in danger. Lastly, deer have been known to attack more frequently when they become habituated to humans. I saw a video of a little boy hand feeding a deer, then pulling the food away from the deer to get a good picture. Well, the deer did not like this very much and sent a lethal front kick his way. It is important to note that deer are still wild animals even though they are common. Getting close to any wild animal is a very bad idea, and any animal has a much higher likelihood of attacking humans when they are no longer scared of them.
Now, as for protecting yourself if a deer attacks, the method is slightly different than from bears or cougars. Since these are both predators, simply showing signs of dominance or aggression will often scare them off. This is different with deer. Since they are normally passive and frightful, it would take a lot to make them openly attack, and simply standing your ground and making yourself appear larger probably will not work very well. With predators, running away activates a sort of predatory switch in their mind that tells them to keep going forward with the attack. Since deer are not predators, simply running away can be a very effective method of fending off an attack. Deer that are driven to attack generally do not do it with the intent of killing you. They just want you gone, and I’m sure if you see a trophy buck charging at you, you would be happy to oblige.
If the deer does not stop when you run away, you are going to have to prepare to defend yourself. The main weapons of deer are their antlers and legs. If you can, try to put a tree between you and the deer. And not just any tree, you want a rather large tree. Large enough not to break if the deer runs into it. If there are few trees where you are hunting, then you are going to have to defend yourself with whatever is handy. A hunting knife, rock, big stick, anything that can be used as a weapon.
Now that you are sufficiently prepared for the chance of your hunting quarry turning the tables, you can rest easy at night knowing no little deer will seriously harm you (at least not in real life. Hunting games, however, is another matter). Leave that to the bears……or your wife (don’t tell her I said that.)
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