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Photo by Larry Smith/Flickr

Warning issued after two dog owners attacked by aggressive deer on Vancouver Island

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After receiving several calls from people who’ve had dangerous encounters with male deer, B.C. conservation officer Peter Pauwels is warning Vancouver Island residents to watch out. 

During mating season, bucks can become very aggressive and unpredictable, especially, it seems, if you’re with a dog. Earlier this week, not one but two Vancouver Island dog owners were attacked by an aggressive deer. Although it’s unclear whether or not the incidents involved the same buck, according to reports, both attacks happened in Oak Bay, a municipality on the southern edge of the island. 

In one case, a buck moved toward a woman and her miniature pinscher, and when the deer got close, it stomped on the dog’s legs. In another case, a buck charged at a woman who was running with her dog and actually knocked her to the ground. 

“The deer went up on its hind legs and he sort of stomped on the dog with his front legs,” witness Natalie Bowes told CTV News. “Then he had his head down and he nailed [the woman] with his antlers.”

According to Bowes, the woman was left with torn pants and a bleeding leg. It’s safe to bet she was rather shaken as well.

But Pauwels told CTV that it’s no coincidence both of the victims were with dogs. In fact, it might be the very reason they were targeted.

“Pretty much 100 percent of aggressive interactions between deer and people involve a dog,” he said, adding that it’s the dog the deer is going after, “and if the person is there with the dog, they’re just collateral damage.”

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