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Dangerous or not a big deal? Runnng related...

I run on a bike/running trail.  For the second long run in a row I have encountered a deer.  Last weekend I saw the deer on the trail in the distance.  It kind of freaked me out so I called my hubby and when I started talking he ran back in the woods.  Today, I didn't see the deer until I was passing him.  He was right in the brush a couple of yards away from me.  I kinda shrieked because it surprised me and then I said "its okay" really loud and the deer didn't move.  It kind of just stared me down and I kept running.  It was really scary just because it surprised me and I wasn't sure if deer attack or what would set it off.  I'm wondering if this is dangerous or if this is common when running on trails.  Would you change routes or do anything differently if you were me?  TIA

Re: Dangerous or not a big deal? Runnng related...

  • Deer are normally very skittish, so I imagine they'll just run away from you. That's always been my experience.
  • We have deer in our neighborhood where I run, and I usually just ignore them and they ignore me.  We are near woods, but there are always deer out in yards and sometimes in the street so I figure they are used to seeing people.  If it's a popular trail I probably wouldn't worry about it.
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  • They're probably used to seeing people on the trail and it doesn't phase them anymore.  When I was in college, there was a herd of deer that lived in the hills above campus.  Sometimes I'd go out to run in the morning and there would be 20 or so of them on the dorm laws.  They just stared at me.

    One did chase my friend Peter a few times--for some reason the deer liked to follow him.  He decided it was his afro that was so attractive to them. Stick out tongue

  • I would have been scared sh!tless.

    However, the only animals I come in contact with on a frequent basis are birds and purse dogs.

  • Probably not dangerous.  Deer normally bounce away when they hear people, I've never heard of one attacking.  That he didn't run suggests he's either used to people or didn't hear/smell you coming.  If you are concerned about deer, or most any wild animals for that matter, make more noise when you run.  That would def be a holy crap moment though to have one a few yards away. 
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  • they usually run away.  If they're particularly close, I will stop and approach them slowly because this time of year they are much more prone to chase - especially the bucks.  If it's not moving, I may clap or yell at it. 

    I had a teammate in college get chased by one once.  It was rather funny because she was the quietest girl on the team and we all saw her sprinting past our stretching area, screaming and being chased by a buck. 
    We ran in a very popular metropark, but for some reason, that buck was spooked.

  • I have no experience with deer while running (the only wild animal I've seen while running is a fox and a scary looking dog that I thought was a wolf), but I would definitely avoid any interaction if it were a female with young.  I don't know if deer are the same, but a mother moose will mess you up if you get between her and her babies.
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  • I have encountered deer often and they have never tried to hurt me. They usually stare, run away, or keep eating. Don't worry about it!
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  • 99.99% of the time no problem, they are probably so used to people it doesn't phase them. If they're not, they'll run away. The only weird story I heard was on the news when a Mama deer was guarding her babies/nest that was nearby, so I guess as long as you run past them, not towards them you should be fine.
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  • It's mating season now, so the bucks may be more aggressive.  If you startle one, there's a tiny chance he could try to hurt you.

    Does are never a problem.

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  • If it is a bike/running trail, the deer are probably used to seeing humans.  I wouldn't worry about it at all.  Deer are usually afraid of humans and would run from you versus coming at you. 

     

     

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  • They are most likely so used to seeing people on the trail that it doesn't bother them or scare them enough to run if you're at somewhat of a distance. I'm sure if you got closer or tried to go directly towards the deer it would run. I really wouldn't worry about it, when was the last time you heard of a deer attacking a runner Wink
  • You should be fine, but deer can be dangerous - when we were researching our Yosemite trip we found out more people had been injured by deer in the park than by bear.  Never approach or provoke the deer, and avoid running directly at it, change your path if you have to so that you run by it instead.  I also see deer when I run out in the fields, I just run by them and ignore them and they've never bothered me.
  • image MrsJuliD:
    You should be fine, but deer can be dangerous - when we were researching our Yosemite trip we found out more people had been injured by deer in the park than by bear.  Never approach or provoke the deer, and avoid running directly at it, change your path if you have to so that you run by it instead.  I also see deer when I run out in the fields, I just run by them and ignore them and they've never bothered me.

    People get hurt by deer when they try to pet them. People are stupid. Do not pet the deer.

    If you stay on the path and continue running in a predictable manner, you'll be fine. Deer that see people often and find them to be no threat get lazy and stop running away.  I worked in a town in a provincial park - it was over run by deer that never ran away. They just sort of slept on the lawns, and if a person got really  close, they'd shuffle away a little. 

     

  • I live in the country and almost always see deer on my runs/bike rides (saw 8 last night) and I have never, ever had a problem with one. Dogs scare me more than the deer do. If you see one and get nervous just stop and let it pass you by. Usually they are skittish and want to get away from you.
  • Thanks for all the advice.  I think my main concern at this point is just how scared I get when I see them.  It is hard to focus after that.  I don't live in an area with a lot of wild animals so I'm not really used to seeing them that close to me.  I guess I will decide next week how far down that trail I want to go.  Because my runs are getting longer, I'm going into a lot less populated area of the running trail so I rarely see people at that point and everyone I do see is on bikes.
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