Mating season for deer in Colorado is at its peak, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds residents to be cautious and avoid conflict.
Bucks are territorial and loaded with testosterone while mating season is active, and have been known to attack people or dogs that are threatening or appear to be rivals. Residents are urged to keep their distance from deer, and never feed or attempt to pet them.
“Buck deer can be aggressive and lose their usual wariness of people at this time of year,” Patt Dorsey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s southwest regional manager, said in a news release.
Bucks have also been known to mistakenly spar with and become tangled in swing sets, volleyball nets, hammocks, bicycles, vegetable-wire cages, hoses, etc.
“We’ve seen bucks hung up in things like hammocks, clothes lines and plastic fencing,” Dorsey said. “When that happens it’s very stressful on the animal and sometimes fatal. It can also be dangerous for people who might come in contact with a deer in a stressed-out condition.”
CPW recommends residents clean up their yards, put away toys that have been left outside and check for other things that could snare deer. If for some reason items cannot be removed, CPW suggests people tie sections of brightly colored surveyor’s tape around them to help keep animals away.
Residents with holiday decorations and lights should be cautious, string them at least 8 feet off the ground and attach them firmly to structures. People are asked to avoid loosely placing lights on or around shrubbery and wrapping lights around tree trunks.
People are instructed to alert the nearest CPW office if an animal is seen tangled in items, and should never approach or attempt to help the animal themselves.
Also, drivers are reminded to slow down and watch for deer on or near roads. Deer migrate to winter ranges this time of year, and tend to be close to highways more often.
Deer mating season in Colorado typically continues through late December.