FAQ – The Deer Effect
Myth 1: Deer are stupid. This myth comes from people who have hit deer with their cars at night. Deer are stunned by the extreme brightness of headlights for nearly five seconds before they can react. That’s why you hear people say, “Stupid deer. It just stood there and let me hit it.” The time between being hit and being able to react causes people to believe that deer aren’t smart.
Myth 2: Deer only eat vegetation. Actually, I have spotted many of the deer in our small herd eating dog food which contains chicken and beef. To my point, there was footage snapped of a deer eating human remains at the Texas State University/Forensic Anthropology Center where they analyze the stages of decomposition of human bodies. Deer need protein as much as other mammals. So, Bambi doesn’t just like an apple a day. She likes a good side of beef too, sometimes.
Myth 3: Deer will gladly accept food that you offer them. Wrong! Deer are wildlife. The word “wild” should be a sign to we intelligent species to stand well away from them, as we should any other wild animal. There have been many instances where a person was caught on camera trying to befriend a deer with an apple only to see that person get pummeled by the deer. And, although fun to watch, I suppose it wasn’t fun to experience.
Myth 4: Bucks will kill fawns. Not from my observation of the herd. In fact, the bucks encourage fawns to eat from their food almost as if training them how to eat real food, something other than a doe’s milk. I often see bucks lying down with the little ones too while mama rests up. These are social creatures with pack mentality. When individuals within the pack are healthy and safe, so is the herd.