Colorado Parks & Wildlife: With deer mating season underway, be cautious with holiday decorations |

Colorado Parks & Wildlife: With deer mating season underway, be cautious with holiday decorations

Summit Daily staff report
File photo of mule deer in Colorado.
David Hannigan/Colorado Parks and Wildlife

As deer are in the midst of their mating season now through late December, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued a press release to remind residents to take precautions to avoid conflicts.

“Buck deer can be aggressive and lose their usual wariness of people at this time of year,” Patt Dorsey, the southwest regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said in CPW’s release.

CPW warns that during the peak times of deer breeding season, commonly referred to as the “rut,” bucks are territorial and loaded with testosterone.

“They may attack people that appear to be competitive rivals,” CPW said in the release. “Deer can also see dogs as threats. In past years, bucks have gored people and dogs. If you see deer in your neighborhood keep your distance. Never attempt to get close to deer, never feed them and never try to pet them.”

CPW encourages Coloradans to assess their yards and bring in any summer toys or items that can snare deer. If items can’t be removed, CPW recommends affixing long strands of brightly colored surveyor’s tape in an effort to help to keep the animals away.

CPW also asks people setting up decorations and lights for the holiday season to exercise caution.

“Lights should be attached firmly to structures,” CPW writes in the release, “or strung at least 8 feet off the ground. Avoid draping lights loosely on top of shrubbery or wrapping lights around tree trunks.”

CPW adds that if you do see an animal with items stuck in its antlers to not approach the animal or attempt to free them yourself. Rather, call the nearest CPW office. The phone number for the Sylvan Lake State Park Office in Eagle is 970-328-2021. The phone number for the Hot Sulphur Springs Office is 970-725-6200.

CPW also cautions drivers to slow down and be on the lookout for deer on highways.

“Deer have migrated to winter range,” CPW writes, “and are likely to be close to major roadways at this time of year.”

 CPW also warned that bucks in the rut may also spar with and become tangled in outdoor household and recreational items such as swing sets, volleyball nets, bicycles, vegetable-wire cages and hoses.

“We’ve seen bucks hung up in things like hammocks, clothes lines and plastic fencing,” Dorsey added. “When that happens it’s very stressful on the animal and sometimes fatal. It can also be dangerous for people who might come in contact with a deer that is in a stressed-out condition.”


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