An Saanich resident is looking for local governments and agencies to take more action to deal with aggressive deer in an area that also borders Victoria and is near Oak Bay.
Rayna Corner said one doe in particular harasses people like dog walkers, “stalking” them on a daily basis and even kicking at the dogs.
Corner walks her dog Rooster every day and has regular confrontations at all hours of the day.
“At least five women dog walkers other than me and two men have been stalked and chased relentlessly by the psycho doe,” Corner said. “This doe is the child of the previous psycho doe who was killed by a car last fall, finally, after years of terrorizing us. This one exhibits the same learned behaviour of stalking. There are other does with fawns around who don’t act like this.”
“It’s a neighbourhood problem that’s been going on for years. I live right on the Saanich/Victoria border nearish Oak Bay, so even though Oak Bay has done a good job with their birth control program, it’s also pointless without other municipalities joining on.”
Corner has contacted the Conservation Officer service in the past, but said its staff haven’t taken action, other than suggesting carrying a “baseball bat or a ski pole.”
Absolutely bonkers behaviour by this doe, who deliberately comes by to tease Rooster, and would’ve charged the fence if I wasn’t standing nearby pic.twitter.com/IedAM9AU6F— Rayna (@RaynaRambling) May 31, 2021
Dogs and deer are natural enemies, conservation officer Peter Pauwels told Black Press Media back in 2019. Most deer encounters the conservation office hears of involve dogs.
“Deer believe the dogs are out to kill the fawns, and they don’t understand that that may not be the case,” he said. “That’s an instinct response.”
A major issue, especially in Oak Bay, is the deer do not fear people, he said.
“If a doe has no fear of people and sees somebody with a dog, then it’s not surprising it’s going to try to go after the dog or the person.”
Dog walkers who encounter an aggressive deer should try to create space; consider picking up the dog, if possible; and place a physical object, such as a vehicle, power pole or mailbox, between themselves and the deer. If these options aren’t available, the person should avoid turning their back on the deer, slowly back away, try to keep the dog close to them, and, if a stick or cane or other weapon is available, wave the object to try to fend off the deer, according to Pauwels.
His office receives about two or three calls a week, from mid-May to early July, about aggressive deer but is not generally able to respond — especially to calls in the Oak Bay area. The office is located in Langford, which can mean a lengthy drive and, thus, difficulties identifying the deer in question, he said.