Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency:
A Side Note on our Wildlife
AMBER LOVE 12-NOV-2021 On Facebook, our local Animal Control Officer (ACO Robbie) posted a detailed explanation of what’s going on in the region’s white-tailed deer population. As I read it, I was afraid he would say SARS-COV2 or Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)Available to Patreon Backers was a bigger concern than normal, but it was something completely different. I copied and pasted his text and provided screen caps of his post to the public:
Animal control Officer Robbie again. Iâ€™m here today to provide a very unique PSA involving safety this Fall/Winter season. Lately a very rare situation involving deer during the â€œrutâ€ or â€œmating seasonâ€ has started occurring in abnormally higher than usual numbers. Keep in mind that when I say â€œabnormally higherâ€ I mean reports of literally no more than 3 occurrences (that I know of). So please donâ€™t panic. This is not something that happens often. However there are some reasons to believe that this year may be a unique deer rut season.
Earlier this year, and more specifically during the summer, New Jersey experienced a seriously higher than normal occurrence of deer deaths related to EHD (Epizootic hemorrhagic disease). This is a fairly common disease in deer that is cause by midges which are essentially very small biting flies that attack deer throughout the warmer seasons. The midges die off after the first frost. But while active can transmit EHD to the deer population which can then cause wide spread death in the deer population. This year alone was reportedly one of the highest reported years in deer deaths caused by EHD. So the deer population took a serious hit this year. You will more than likely see fewer deer than usual this fall.
However, and this is the reason for my post, the more than usual decrease in population has left us in New Jersey with a nature anomaly.
After speaking with a few professionals in the area we have come to the consensus that the remaining deer in the population are likely the stronger/more aggressive in the herd that were able to survive the wide spread EHD infections. This means that our â€œRutâ€ season is mainly comprised of stronger, more aggressive bucks or â€œmalesâ€ with less than normal numbers of doe or â€œfemalesâ€ to mate with.
So what does this mean?
This means that this fall and winter we have a population of deer that are mating more aggressively than most of us have ever seen before. This means that occurrences of deer running blindly across roads may be worse than normal. With fewer doe the bucks will be mating more aggressively.
Alsoâ€¦.. and I canâ€™t believe I have to say thisâ€¦.. this also means that Bucks or â€œmalesâ€ may have a higher occurrence of attacking People that they have confused as a doe to mate with or have confused as another buck they need to challenge. I know it sounds crazy. But we have already had a report of a jogger practically getting raped by a buck in summit New Jersey and of another person getting nearly gored by a buck as they were trying to â€œfeedâ€ deer. And to top it all offâ€¦. My own wife and 15 month old son were attacked a couple days ago by a buck. Thankfully no one was hurt. When my wife described the event I will be honest I initially thought it was funny. Until I heard the whole story and saw the look of fear in her eyes. Please Try to rememberâ€¦.This is MY wife. Sheâ€™s no Nancy Pants about wildlife. Sheâ€™s seen and heard all of my adventures first hand. So to see her that shook up I decided to look deeper into the issue. And sure enough I discovered that this in fact is a credible threat. And this year we may see more of it.
So. With all that being said I want to provide you with a â€œwhat to doâ€ if you are in a situation where a buck may in fact be confusing you with one of their own and you find the need to â€œprotect your virtueâ€ from sexual assault from deer lol. (Honestly itâ€™s not funny though. You could get seriously hurt)
1. Make lots of noise. As a matter of fact after speaking with Antler Ridge they actually recommend keeping a literal â€œrape whistleâ€ with you while walking in the woods during the rut. Making noise will not only possibly scare off the deer but may alert another person nearby that you need assistance.
2. DO NOT CURL UP IN A BALL!!!! My wife told me her first thought was to grab Oliver and curl up in a ball to protect him. That is the LAST THING you want to do. If you do this you are putting yourself in a â€œsubmissiveâ€ position. And if the deer intends to have his way with you then you just gave him the thumbs up. And during the â€œprocessâ€ you will likely be cut up pretty badly by itâ€™s hooves.
3. Runâ€¦â€¦However. And listen closely. Because I NEVER say run from an animal. It usually sends a message that you are something to chase. In this case however you should run. BUT not â€œrun awayâ€ from the deer. You need to run TO the closest object you can find that will create a shield. Choose a tree, or a garbage can or car etc. Place yourself on the other side of the shield and keep it between you and the deer. Continue to make noise and stay on the other side of the object. Eventually the deer will lose interest. If you can not find something to get behind then find something to hold out in front of you.
4. Donâ€™t panic. And more importantly DONâ€™T NOT PANIC! If a buck is approaching you directly it is NOT a good thing. It is not time to whip out your phone and take pictures. This is abnormal behavior and you should treat it as such. Stay calm and get yourself to a defensible position.
Keep in mind this is typically a very rare occurrence. However with 3 reports this year INCLUDING my own wife, unborn child and 15 month old son I feel compelled to warn my residents and give you the proper instructions on how to protect yourself.
Donâ€™t forget. While driving. If you see a deerâ€¦.. there will be more so SLOW DOWN and LOOK AROUND.
We have a lot of case files on our deer neighbors. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve never been mistaken as opponents or as mates.
ACO Robbie also shared a beautiful story of a piebald deer sighting. At a glance people didn’t know what they were seeing: a cow, a goat, a small horse. A resident got a great picture of the piebald deer in their backyard resting and it was shared on Facebook:
Be safe and responsible!
~ The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency