Stories tagged deer

Going down: A golden eagle was captured on camera attacking a deer in Russia.
Going down: A golden eagle was captured on camera attacking a deer in Russia.Courtesy WSI
A camera trap in Russia was set up to capture the movements of tigers. What researchers found one day was much different: three images showing a golden eagle taking down a deer running in the snow. You can read all about it here along with seeing enlarged versions of these fairly graphic images. The sika deer being attacked is estimated to be around 90 to 100 pounds. The linked story also goes into good detail about the grisly events that transpired at the scene (also captured on camera) after the eagle left.

Oct
29
2009

Deer Rumen: Opening up a deer's rumen.
Deer Rumen: Opening up a deer's rumen.Courtesy Kirk Mona
Ever wondered what's inside the stomach of a deer? For those not afraid of some graphic photos, the Twin Cities Naturalist Blog. has posted photos and descriptions of the four parts of a deer's stomach. Here's a quick overview.

  • The Rumen is a fermentation and storage vat. Micro-organisms break down a lot of food in the Rumen so it can be absorbed by the deer but it does not physically break down the food with acid like a human stomach.
  • The Reticulum is basically a filter that allows small particles to pass to the Omasum.
  • The Omasum acts like a sponge that draws off excess water before food is passed to the next step.
  • The Abomasum works like your stomach to break down food with acid so nutrients can be absorbed.

You can see all the photos and read more at Twin Cities Naturalist.

I was searching YouTube for some other museum stuff when I came upon this video of a wild deer that jumped into a polar bear enclosure at a Pittsburgh Zoo. It's security camera video, not the clearest, but pretty interesting nonetheless.

Find out the latest shenanigans of a deer and a monkey.

Check it out, readers, a unicorn (deer thing) has been found in the country we call Italy.

Get some maidens over there and capture it! Or Tom Cruise! (I don't really remember how that movie went.)

Anyway, sorry, but I've already called dibs on the horn. I need it for my magic spells.

May
22
2008

Goepfert and his foe, already immortalized: The article was unclear as to whether Goepfert went to the salon naked, or stripped for the fight.
Goepfert and his foe, already immortalized: The article was unclear as to whether Goepfert went to the salon naked, or stripped for the fight.Courtesy The Adventures of Kristin & Adam
You know what I’m all about? Man versus Nature.

And let’s be clear here—I’m not talking about Moby Dick. I don’t mean two concepts sitting across the room from each other, growling; I’m not thinking about freshman English. This is real talk; this is man-eating, horse-punching, mauled by bears, sannakji.

How else are we supposed know who’s best? Sure, animals aren’t very good at using guns, but then very few people have been able to grow good horns and claws. This is why I’m also into casual animal abuse (like calling pets dirty words in a friendly voice), and the very underappreciated Fox Man vs. Beast specials. That was like having people race animals across a settling pond, with a tug of war in the middle.

You can understand my enthusiasm, then, for this little news item. Sometime in the last couple of weeks, a noble animal warrior, a white-tailed buck, made a daring sally against a suburban Pennsylvania strip mall, striking first at a hair salon. The animal crashed through the glass door of the hair fixery with one thought on its mind: fresh meat. I don’t know much about deer.

Determined to defend his son and the other children in the salon, local hotshot Randy Goepfert hulked out, and took matters into his own hands.

“The thing was heading right at my son, so I decked him,” says Goepfert. (“Him” meaning the deer, not the son.) He then “grabbed the buck by the neck and slammed it to the floor, then climbed on top and began choking it.” The plan, it seems, was to restrain the creature until the authorities arrived, who would certainly be impressed.

Male white-tailed deer generally weigh between 130 and 220 pounds, so it was very likely that the beast was outweighed by Goepfert, a scale-crushing 225-pounder. Nonetheless, the deer managed to throw the grappling dad and regain its feet. Goepfert then chased animal into a back room, and blocked thee door with chairs.

Having no fingers and a brain the size of a lemon, the game was pretty much over for the buck. Animal control arrived and sedated the animal. It seems, however, that Goepfert had won not only the battle, but the war; the buck’s jaw was broken, and it had serious cuts on its neck, and was euthanized. Goepfert escaped euthanasia, although his family will no doubt be keeping a close eye on him (once they taste blood, there’s no telling what a man will do).

A wildlife conservation officer said that the deer was probably just very frightened and disoriented.

“They have a very, very primeval flight response. If they get scared, they don’t think, they just try to get away.”

Too bad, my animal friends, too bad. You might want to deal with that, if you ever hope to get ahead in the only game that matters.

Man—1,003,947,860,220

Beast—1,024

Minnesota's deer hunting season opens in most areas this weekend. And here's a link to an incredible story of two male deer who locked horns in a deadly mating ritual of the season and an even more incredible story of what happened afterwards.

Oct
08
2007

Deer danger: The coming of fall also means the coming of greater risk for hitting a deer while you're driving on the roads. During mating season, deer are more active and less alert. (Photo from the oops list)
Deer danger: The coming of fall also means the coming of greater risk for hitting a deer while you're driving on the roads. During mating season, deer are more active and less alert. (Photo from the oops list)
It’s that time of year again when young deer’s thoughts turn to romance.

Fall is the season when deer are mating and they don’t have all their wits about them, kind of like the people hanging out in downtown Minneapolis late on Friday and Saturday nights.

What that means is that fall is also the prime time for car/deer collisions. I’ve been through several of these personally (I even hit two deer at once one time) and it’s not fun.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that we have about 19,000 auto/deer collisions each year. Those result in around 450 injuries to humans and two deaths, on average.

On top of that, it’s not cheap to hit a deer. The average cost per insurance claim for collision damage is $2,800. If someone gets hurt, that average climbs to $10,000.

Fall is the peak time for the deer to be moving with November and December being the prime times. Here are some tips on how to deal with, and reduce, your exposure to smacking a deer on the road.

• Pay attention to deer crossing signs. They’re put up in places that traditionally have a lot of deer activity.
• Be especially aware around sunrise and sunset. That’s when deer are most often on the move.
• If you see a deer, be extra alert. There’s usually more. Deer usually travel in groups.

If you see a deer on the road:
• Slow down and blast your horn with a long blast to make it move.
• Brake firmly, but don’t leave your traffic lane. More serious accidents involving deer happen when drivers try to swerve to avoid hitting the deer, resulting in hitting other cars or obstacles along the road.
• Always wear a seatbelt. Most injuries in car/deer collisions could have been avoided by wearing a seatbelt.
• Don’t count on deer whistles, fences or reflectors to prevent deer from getting in your path. There is no proven information on these items reducing deer collisions.

Do you have a deer crash story? Let us know about it here at Science Buzz.

Jan
30
2007

Traffic danger: A scientific solution may be coming to prevent vehicle/deer collisions. Lining high-danger highways with canisters of wolf, coyote or bear urine may keep deer from crossing the roads.
Traffic danger: A scientific solution may be coming to prevent vehicle/deer collisions. Lining high-danger highways with canisters of wolf, coyote or bear urine may keep deer from crossing the roads.
With a personal driving record that includes three dead deer from the fenders of my car, I’m all in favor of finding new ways to prevent auto/deer collisions.

That’s why I was glad to read today’s press accounts of a new idea to help reduce highway deer accidents: the use of wolf, coyote or bear urine. That’s one of the new ideas being discussed this week at a summit of law enforcement officials from nine states meeting in the Twin Cities.

How exactly would that work? Canisters with urine would be placed along roadways that have high incidents of deer crashes. The thought is that the deer would be able to smell the urine and turn back on their path as not to get close to a predator.

It’s a very plausible idea in places like Minnesota and Wisconsin, where there are healthy populations of the predators. But what about places further south? That’s what members of the law enforcement group want to study. They don’t know if deer will react to the smell of urine from predators they’ve never faced before.

High fliers: These white tails in action show how fast and fleet deer can be out in the forests.
High fliers: These white tails in action show how fast and fleet deer can be out in the forests.
Minnesota is also working on a deer control project of its own. Using a dual set of light beams along side roads, the presence of a deer near the road could be sensed and send a signal to lights on deer crossing signs along that road. The lasers would be spaced far enough apart (six inches) so they couldn’t both be set off by smaller animals. The lights on the deer crossing sign would flash for about a minute in the vicinity of where the deer, or other large animal, crossed through the light beams.

At test of that plan will be done over the course of this year near Camden State Park in southwest Minnesota along Hwy. 23. Each year between 40 and 80 deer are killed by vehicles on that stretch of road.

Statewide, there were 4,176 vehicle/deer crashes in Minnesota in 2005 (statistics for 2006 are not yet compiled). Two people died in those crashes.

Other solutions to vehicle/deer crashes are not so popular with the public, including culling deer herds with special hunts.

But what I really want to know, how are they going to collect the predator urine? I, for one, am not going to go around to ask any wolves, coyotes or bears to pee into a little cup.

Nov
09
2005

It's deer hunting season in Minnesota. Deer hunting is a major industry in this state, generating $236 million in retail sales in 2001, 4,825 jobs and $122 million in wages. The sale of hunting licenses for deer brought in $19.7 million to the DNR in 2004. The revenue from these licenses account for 29% of the DNR's Game and Fish Fund, which help buy and manage wildlife management areas and fund research on forest animals.

As important as all this is, deer hunting plays an even more critical role in managing the state's deer population. There are more than a million whitetail deer in Minnesota, and due to recent mild winters the population is nearing record numbers.

The record number of deer is having an impact in many parts of the state. Deer grazing is threatening some plant species, such as trillium, wild lily of the valley, and rose twistedstalk. Reforestation of Eastern white pines and white cedar trees is difficult due to deer grazing. Deer related traffic accidents are also a concern, with an estimated 20,000 deer-vehicle crashes annually.

Deer management through hunting is tricky, especially since the DNR cannot predict what the winter weather will be like. Seven of the last eight winters have been milder than average, leading to increased deer numbers despite more liberal hunting policies meant to control the population. Severe winters result in "winterkills" that can reduce the population significantly, but without being able to predict them, the DNR has to make some educated guesses. Another factor that worries the DNR is that while the number of hunters is increasing, it is not increasing at a rate that can control the high population of deer.

As a result, the DNR is loosening restrictions on hunting anterless deer. Hunters used to have to enter a lottery to obtain an anterless permit. Now any hunter can buy them over the counter.

What do you think? What would you suggest to help control the deer population? What do you think about hunting? Do you think it is an effective deer population management strategy? If not, what would you suggest as an alternative?