Our friendly neighborhood deer that share our campus with us at NDNU are solemn, majestic, and beautiful. However, be careful because despite their looks, they can be very dangerous.
The white-tailed deer can be found in southern Canada and most of the United States, except for the Southwest, Alaska and Hawaii. A deer’s home range is usually less the square mile. Deer collect in family groups of a mother and her fawns. When a doe has no fawns, she is usually solitary. Male bucks may live in groups consisting of three or four individuals, except in mating season, when they are solitary. This is the scenario when the deer could become very dangerous and hostile.
It makes no difference whether a deer is bottle-fed or raised with human contact, when the rut kicks in and testosterone flows and a buck turns from timidity to terror. The rut is known as the mating season for deer and other animals like sheep or camels. When a buck is in the rut they have puffed neck and polished antlers. Bucks can attack fast and in an unrelenting, manic fashion. It’s not unheard of for rutting deer to pummel and batter dead bucks killed by hunters. Lethal antlers, kicking legs, sharp hooves and extraordinary muscle strength combine to turn a buck from a majestic animal into a dangerous one.
Although no major altercations with deer have been documented at NDNU, many students from this year and the past years have reported being chased by the bucks on campus. Zach Ginter an NDNU graduate relived his experience being chased by the buck near the parking by the gym.
“I was walking back to campus from Safeway at around one in the morning. I just made to the gym parking lot when I saw a really big buck staring at me in front of the church. The buck charged at me and me and I took off behind the gym and ran to New Hall as fast as I could. Thank God he didn’t catch me.”
Ginter is just one out of many students who have come across this large buck that roams over this hills of NDNU. Senior Korey Serna saw this dangerous majestic creature too many times. Korey says, “We call him Bambi. He appears once every blue moon, but when you see him approach with caution. If you’re around his heard just go the other way. It will save you some trouble.” Tom Lee a Public Safety officer on campus says that no attacks or reports vandalism of have come up. “The deer here are more afraid of us than we are of them. We also have to remember that we’re invading there home by building into this mountain. As long you don’t anything to provoke them then you have nothing to worry about.”