Deer are fully capable of defending themselves and their young. The females are protective of their young in the spring. Male deer or stags should be avoided in autumn from mid September to late October during the rut.
They fast which causes their testosterone levels to increase which in turn increases their aggressiveness and power. They've been known to take out their aggression against trees.
While I was out for several weeks in the woods at some point a deer smashed into a tree about 10 feet away from where I had setup camp. It occurred around 12:05 am or so and put the fear into me to say the least.
The sound was as though a truck slammed into the side of a building. I remember the sound of the tree resonating as it wobbled under the pressure. I was sleeping in a tarp tent I had set up on a large boulder close to a small cliff beside a lake.
The deer didn't like me being there.
Have a look at the YouTube video top right where you'll see a mother defending her young while in the
You need to remember that a deer in the suburbs, just like a bear, should be left alone. Do not feed them and be very careful of the distance between you and the animal. You're idea of a safe distance isn't necessarily the same as the animals idea of you being at a safe distance.
In the video you'll see family pets that were in danger of serious injury. Perhaps another good idea for leash laws? I'll let you decide that for yourself, given it could depend on the circumstances. Anyhow, obey leash laws if there are any where you live.
Also, consider your children's safety as well, especially the younger ones who are more susceptible to attacks by wild animals and who can least defend themselves in an attack against them.
The second video to the right will show you a deer attack. Notice what the hunter is doing and how the deer attacks him. Ask yourself, was the encounter avoidable, if not, what do you think the best way to deal with the encounter would be?
Animals can be seen as both predictable given known character traits of a given species, but also unpredictable given their wild nature. As an example, what you consider a safe distance from an animal might be too close in the animals mind, causing it to feel threatened and may provoke a response.
As I wrote in the first paragraph above, there are times of the year where deer are more aggressive, so keep that in mind when planning to go out in the woods.
Here are some links to help you learn more about deer.
1. Wikipedia – Deer
2. CBC.ca - Deer attacks man in the city.