The Pacific Grove Police Department, along with California Department of Fish and Wildlife, receive reports every spring of deer being protective of their young. Deer are not inherently aggressive animals. However, a doe may become territorial or defensive of an area if she perceives that her young are threatened. This may cause her to revert to her natural instinct and act in defense of her fawn. This is especially true if she perceives a dog as a predator.
To reduce the attraction of deer feeding and living in your neighborhood:
- Never intentionally feed deer and report those who do to PGPD at (831) 648-3143
- Landscape deer resistant plants to deter feeding in your neighborhood (contact your local nursery or see the Gardner’s Guide at www.keepmewild.org)
- Enclose gardens with eight-foot fencing
- Pick-up fallen tree fruit and acorns
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house and garden
To reduce the likelihood of an unfavorable encounter with deer, please adhere to these tips:
- Keep dogs on leash
- Be especially cautious of deer with fawns that may or may not be seen. Mother deer are very protective of their young. A fawn may be bedded down nearby and not seen, the mother deer will protect the fawn and the area it is bedded down in.
- If you see a deer, observe it from a distance.
- If your presence creates a response from a deer like a change in stance, ear posture or physical movement such as stomping feet or huffing, do not walk any closer. Back away and choose another route. Avoid the same area for a few weeks.
- If a doe does approach you, wave a coat, umbrella, or other object in the direction of the deer. Shout and make a loud noise to frighten the deer away while backing up.
- The protective behavior generally lasts during the spring, so find alternative walking routes.
Please report animal related problems or questions to the Pacific Grove Police Department at (831) 648-3143. For general information and reading material on wildlife go to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Keep Me WIld website. Thank you.