Pet Deer
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Woman Cited After "Pet Deer" Gores Multiple Neighbors

Bizarre deer attack ends with woman's neighbor being cited.

In what is yet another bizarre news headline for 2020, a Colorado woman was cited for feeding and raising a wild mule deer buck in her home that ended up viciously attacking her neighbor. It's a strange story that dates back almost a year according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

In a press release on their website, CPW says 73-year-old Tynette Housley illegally took the buck into her home as a fawn last year and raised it on the property. She's now facing two misdemeanor citations for illegally feeding wildlife and illegal possession of wildlife that could cost her $1,098.50 in fines.

The young buck developed a set of fork antlers this year and was apparently running around the yard on its own. Then, last Friday, the animal attacked and gored one of Housley's neighbors.

In the release, CPW says the neighbor was walking her dog when she noticed the buck following her. Shortly after was when the buck attacked, goring the woman with his antlers. According to the release, the attack went on for several minutes as the buck continually gored and knocked the woman down, causing cuts and bruises to the woman's legs, head and cheeks. Her attempts to flee to her house or the neighbors failed at first. Eventually, the unnamed victim managed to open her garage door and lose the animal between two vehicles stored inside. She ended up being hospitalized overnight in the incident. CPW ended up euthanizing the buck. On social media, they posted an image of the deer's bloodied antlers.

Officials say they autopsied the buck and tested it for diseases. CPW said the deer's stomach contents contained things like potatoes and corn, confirming humans were feeding it. The pre-rut is heating up for many deer populations across the United States, making the bucks more aggressive than normal. It seems likely that the attack may be tied to that.

It turns out, there's more to this story. As this wasn't the first time the deer had attacked. Fox 31 Denver reports the animal attacked another neighbor a few days prior, resulting in several puncture wounds. The news station talked to another man who also had the deer approach him while he was trying to get the paper in the morning.

It appears CPW wants to make an example of this incident for others who may consider taking in wild animals.

"We can't say it enough: wild animals are not pets," CPW area wildlife manager for Pikes Peak region Frank McGee said in the release. "Feeding deer habituates them to humans. They lose their fear of humans and that leads to these outcomes that are tragic for both wildlife and people. Injured and orphaned wildlife should be taken to licensed wildlife rehabilitators."

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels