ODFW is getting reports of aggressive deer in Jackson and Josephine counties with most reports coming from Ashland. In Gold Hill, a dog was killed by a doe earlier this month.
At this time of year in the Rogue Valley, black-tailed does are raising their fawns and will protect them against dogs, people, or other perceived threats.
Bucks, more likely to be aggressive during the rut in October-November, can be aggressive all year when they are being fed.
Wildlife biologist Mathew Vargas says many Ashland area residents enjoy the urban deer population and tolerate deer eating their landscaping until deer get aggressive. Vargas advises dog owners to consider not walking their dogs for a few weeks in areas where aggressive deer are being reported.
In Ashland, the problem areas are between North Mountain Ave. and Oak St. north of Highway 99, and the area immediately surrounding Southern Oregon University.
Other aggressive deer were reported in east Medford, Eagle Point, and Grants Pass.
ODFW recommends residents in these areas to take the following steps:
- Don't approach deer – keep your distance.
- Keep on a leash.
- Don't pick up fawns or get near them – does are very protective. Does may leave fawns alone for a time to go off and forage on their own.
- Don't feed wildlife. It habituates them to people, making them less afraid and more aggressive.
- Stay alert, especially at dawn and dusk. Be aware of your surroundings and areas where deer may be.
Report any aggressive deer behavior to ODFW's Central Point office, 541-826-8774.