Deer Natural Threats
Deer are often the victims of various types of predator out there in the wild. Canines are a big problem for deer due to the fact that so many of them are found in the same types of environments. As the other food sources for those canines become scarce, it is more and more common for them to go after deer. Coyotes fall into this category and they tend to be able to get hold of many fawns that are left alone as their mothers are feeding.
Large cats including mountain lions and bobcats can be problems for deer in some territories. Even though deer can run extremely fast, some felines can exceed that speed and catch them very quickly. These types of large cats can also be very sneaky so the element of surprise is there. They can pounce down from a ledge or out of a tree and be there before the deer has a chance to even move. One of the deadliest predators of deer is the Grizzly Bear. While it may not have the same speed, it is extremely powerful.
Humans seem to be a huge predator of deer as well as all of these animals. Some humans hunt them in order to have a source of food that they need. Others hunt them for sport and then consume the meat and also save the head as a trophy of their hunting adventures. There are others that kill and trap deer though simply because these animals are a nuisance to them. They get into crops and even consume the grass for those that have homes very close to the natural environment of these animals.
Deer aren’t as active in the winter months due to less food. Yet they are going to explore in more open areas for those few food sources out there. As a result this puts them into more dangerous territory where predators may be able to find them. Winter hunting is often successful because the males will go outside of their normal territories in order to be able to find females to mate with.
When the environment has snow or ice on the ground it is harder for the deer to keep their footing. This gives many of their predators the upper hand when it comes to being able to capture them. Even though deer do have quite a few predators, they don’t seem to be in jeopardy of being wiped out because of it. There seems to be a good balance in nature that is taking care of such issues.
To help protect themselves from predators deer have a brown or tan coloring that help them to blend in well to their surroundings. Even when you walk in such areas or drive by you may not notice one until the last minute or until it runs away. Deer are very fast runners and they can swim very well too. They often use these methods to get out of the way of danger.
They are often very successful at being able to get away from predators due to these types of movements. The fact that they have very good vision and excellent hearing also help give them warning sometimes of the threat that predators are in the area and they need to flee.
While it isn’t the first response, a deer will fight when they need to. This is especially true of a doe that has a fawn to protect. While you may not see the fawn that is hidden she can fight with her hooves to try to protect it. The males can fight aggressively too when it comes to staying alive and when predators are in the way of them and mating with females.