CPW reminding residents to take precautions as deer mating season is underway

Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks residents to put away loose objects and nets, and to be cautious of deer. Photo taken in Durango in 2006, showing material that appears to be a hammock. / Jerry McBride -- Durango Herald

STATEWIDE — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding residents to take precautions to avoid conflicts with deer as deer mating season is underway.

Officials say during the “rut,” bucks are territorial and may attack people who appear to be competitive rivals. Deer can also see dogs as threats. 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.

Additionally, bucks in the rut may also spar with and become tangled in swing sets, volleyball nets, bicycles, vegetable-wire cages, hoses, etc.

“We’ve seen bucks hung up in things like hammocks, clothes lines, and plastic fencing” said Patt Dorsey, southwest regional manager for CPW. “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.”

Officials say now is the time for you to take a look at your yard, bring in summer toys, and check if there are other things that can snare deer. If items can’t be removed, CPW recommends tying long strands of brightly-colored surveyor’s tape to them, which might help keep the animals away.

Also, exercise caution if you’re displaying holiday decorations and lights. Lights should be attached firmly to structures, or strung at least eight feet off the ground. Avoid draping lights loosely on top of shrubbery or wrapping lights around tree trunks.

If you see an animal with items stuck in its antlers, call a CPW office near you. Do not approach the animal or attempt to cut them off yourself.

The rut for deer usually continues until late December.

Drivers are also reminded to slow down and be on the lookout for deer on highways. Deer have migrated to winter range and are likely to be close to major roadways at this time of year.

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