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Old 08-23-2015, 07:36 PM   #1
Lonehiker
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Threatened by a Buck

I started my hike on the T-Lake trail today. As I was progressing up the first hill I heard and saw some deer scurry off the trail on to the left side. It was probably near the 600m contour no more than a half mile from Piseco Lake. It was around 4:30pm. I got to the point were the deer ran off to the left. There was a tree that blew down blocking part of the trail with dead leaves. I looked over to the left and there was a deer lingering. I thought that was rather unusual. I took a closer look and saw the antlers. It was a young buck staring at me forebodingly. I look at him, he looked at me and he gave a big stomp on the ground. I immediately knew there was a problem. Not sure what to do, I decided to stand my ground and stomped my foot. I had regrets afterwards thinking it might of made things worst. Shortly, he began to approach menacingly. I drew my 6 inch knife. He stopped. I talked to it, tried not to give direct eye contact, and withdrew some. I thought this was an unusual event and tried to get my video camera out to film it, but the buck didn't give me the chance. He began to come towards me in a very threatening manner. I had my backpack in front this time and contemplated using it as a shield. As he approached I started to tell it no in a commanding manner. It finally stopped. I got a hold of my whistle and blew it. He was probably 30 feet away. The whistle didn't phase him in the least. I started to back off walking backwards. After a little ways I started to turn forward, but then I heard him pursuing me again. I turned to face him again. He stopped, I backed away and the encounter finally ended. I got down to the Popular Point camp ground to tell the toll attendant. I asked him if it was rut season. He said no. I said well I was challenged by a buck. He chuckled and asked if I challenged him back. I said yes, but no effect. He said then I should stay away from the buck and keep a tree between him and I. That ruined my Sunday afternoon hike. A wasted trip, because of an aggressive buck. So, does anyone know if I handled it properly and how should I deal with situations like these in the future?
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:30 PM   #2
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Just a thought, but instead of reaching for a camera, reaching for a rock or stick to throw comes to mind...
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:34 PM   #3
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Unusual event, embrace it!
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:40 PM   #4
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Just a thought, but instead of reaching for a camera, reaching for a rock or stick to throw comes to mind...
I was close to throwing rocks. I was looking at candidates while backing off.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:08 PM   #5
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So, does anyone know if I handled it properly and how should I deal with situations like these in the future?
Since you got out uninjured, I would say you handled it properly. Good story to tell around the campfire. As geogymn wrote:
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Unusual event, embrace it!
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:19 PM   #6
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Did you smoke anything before embarking on this hike? Just kidding, of course. If that deer keeps up those antics he won't last long once hunting season rolls around.
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:18 PM   #7
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After many, many seasons of hunting whitetails, I have NEVER seen an aggressive whitetail buck. In the summer or fall.
They are among the most wary and furtive animals.
Count your experience to the most rare.
Jim
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:25 PM   #8
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Deer are wild animals and attacks though rare do occur. Does can be aggressive in fawning season and bucks may come into pre-rut early and show aggression. With humans coming into contact with deer more often, the deer lose their natural fear of man and like a bear can be dangerous. I always carry when hiking. The deer may have been bitten by a rabid animal. Like Baden Powell used to say "Be Prepared".

Hand raised bucks are ALWAYS aggressive toward males and unless you are planning to propagate have them castrated soon. A friend raises trophy bucks and sells them for big money to deer farms and animal preserves. He arms himself with a steel pipe which has been used to whack the buck in his private parts. Nonetheless he was attacked and wounded by this buck which he raised. He always cuts the antlers off with a sawzall before gathering deer sperm which is frozen in straws and sold. This may be more information than is necessary.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:19 PM   #9
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In 40 years I've had 2 incidents with aggressive bucks. One the day before hunting season and one during the season but in the dark as I was walking to my stand.
Your encounter was very unusual behavior for August but with any wild animal anything can happen.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:19 PM   #10
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Just curious, and not trying to sound sexist, but wondering if the OP is female and if that is a possibility for such an encounter to be more likely..?
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:39 AM   #11
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I'm male
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:13 AM   #12
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I feel your pain; so to speak. I had the same occurrence many summers ago as I was walking into town. I also stomped my foot in reply and when the deer reacted to that "threat" from me he lowered his head and looked like he was going to charge me. At that point I figured I had to do whatever I could. Since the young buck lowered his head and stomped the ground (and I had nothing big to hide behind) I put my own "antlers" up (think hands to head with my fingers splayed out as far as they would go) and stomped the ground as well. With that the buck snorted loudly and ran off into the woods. Once my heart was back in place and my breathing returned to its normal rate I continued my walk. This all happened when I was 16 and I'm 62 now but the memory of that exchange has never dimmed or left me. I consider it one of my stupidest, yet most rewarding, experiences in the outdoors.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 08-26-2015, 05:02 PM   #13
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Snapper,
White tail deer 'foot stomp" to indicate alarm to other deer.
I've seen it time after time, usually accompanied by the head bob, trying to get you to move so that they can identify you.
They will most often "blow" alarming other deer to your presence.
Jim
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:09 PM   #14
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Perhaps next time, try using your big-boy voice and yell as loud as you can while waving your hands above your head, and make whatever kind of ruckus that you can and see what happens. A rare occurrence for sure, but given the circumstances I don't think it warrants turning around and letting it ruin your day.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:31 PM   #15
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I had a button buck butt me right the chest once. I didn't think he'd go for it or else I would have not left myself open to the attack. It can happen. Better believe me if it was anything from a spike horn up I would've been running the other way!
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:13 PM   #16
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A deer can kill you either with their hooves or horns. They also carry Lyme disease ticks. Stay away from them for they are definitely not harmless. They can be as unpredictable, as predictable. They can get fairly bold most likely because they may have lost their natural fear of man. Do not try to hold them by their antlers. They have massive muscles in their necks especially during the rut when they joust with other males. Ten years ago I walked by three very large bucks who were lying by the edge of the woods. They neither feared me nor were spooked by me. They had huge racks. I ran a chain saw not 50 feet from them. They hardly even noticed. This was in a densely populated urban area. I expected them to bolt but they didn't. They just sat there peacefully. Of course they were protected from hunting there. I figured if they attacked I would face them with a powerful chain saw but they couldn't have cared less about my presence. Like I said, unpredictable, yet wild.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:27 PM   #17
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A deer can kill you either with their hooves or horns. They also carry Lyme disease ticks. Stay away from them for they are definitely not harmless. They can be as unpredictable, as predictable. They can get fairly bold most likely because they may have lost their natural fear of man. Do not try to hold them by their antlers. They have massive muscles in their necks especially during the rut when they joust with other males. Ten years ago I walked by three very large bucks who were lying by the edge of the woods. They neither feared me nor were spooked by me. They had huge racks. I ran a chain saw not 50 feet from them. They hardly even noticed. This was in a densely populated urban area. I expected them to bolt but they didn't. They just sat there peacefully. Of course they were protected from hunting there. I figured if they attacked I would face them with a powerful chain saw but they couldn't have cared less about my presence. Like I said, unpredictable, yet wild.
Schultzz,
The key to your message was that you were in a "densely populated urban area".
Not in the "deep woods".
Accustomed to human presence.
White Tail bucks are the the most difficult animals (in the wild) to approach.
Ask any serious deer hunter.
Wild animals that have been acclimated to human presence can be dangerous.
Chipmunks will bite you.
I would take your account with a blessing.
You saw those bucks.
Jim
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:03 PM   #18
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Old 08-28-2015, 04:28 PM   #19
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Moved post???
Where???
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