Deer aren’t all that mysterious, and we are all familiar with these lovely wild animals. But sometimes our information is out-of-date, and we continue to believe old myths about deer that have actually been debunked.
Myth #1: Deer are Harmless
There is a long-standing belief that deer are the ultimate in meek, timid animals that are completely harmless. While this is partly accurate in many cases, it’s definitely a myth overall. For one thing, deer can be quite destructive to your property, especially if they are somewhat regular visitors. They will eat your flowers, garden plants, shrubs and even trees if it suits them. Just moving around your property can cause damage if they walk around your garden beds, or decide to knock over fence posts and furniture.
And that’s just your yard. They can be a threat to you as well. Males can be territorial, particularly during mating season. Bucks can be aggressive and could possibly take a charge at people who are in “their” space.
Myth #2: Lone Fawns are Abandoned
Finding a fawn all alone in the grass usually triggers a lot of sympathy, and the need to help the abandoned little creature. Sometimes they are genuinely in trouble, but more often than not, they are just fine. A baby deer is well camouflaged to hide in the grass, and the mother doe knows that. It’s their usual habit to leave the fawns alone for most of the day while going off to feed.
On the other hand, if you find a fawn, and it’s still in the same place by the next day or it looks ill/injured, that is a different story and you should call a local wildlife rehab center. But just stumbling across a lone fawn should not be cause for concern and you shouldn’t just scoop it up because you think it needs your “help”.
Myth #3: Deer can Spread Disease
All animals can spread disease, but usually only to other animals. The idea that you or your pets can catch a disease from deer is mostly untrue. Lyme disease is one example. While it is true that the disease is frequently spread by the deer tick, it’s not the deer itself that carries or spreads Lyme disease. The more deer you have in the area, the more ticks you are likely to find so there is a relationship. But it’s not the deer you should focus on, it’s the ticks.
Chronic Wasting Disease has also become a problem with many North American white-tailed deer populations. Contrary to popular fears, this serious illness is no risk to humans or to your pets.