HST Community      Weird deer behavior?

Weird deer behavior? | High Sierra Topix  

Weird deer behavior?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby kpeter » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:57 pm

The goats--which are not native to the Olympics and began to overrun the place--were so thick that backpacker permits once cautioned us to urinate only on rocks. Otherwise the goats would do serious damage to the landscape. Salt is a powerful, powerful attractant to animals who live with a constant shortage of it and absolutely crave it.

I see the Park service is still advising to urinate 150 feet from trails in the Olympics to try to reduce goat/human encounters. In 2010 a mountain goat killed a man--the first animal caused fatality in the history of the park--goats were never thought to be particularly dangerous. So, it is in fact wise to trust your instincts and back off, just as you did. An odd individual animal can always be the exception to the rule. Who knows, maybe the critter has a brain parasite and simply does not behave in the ordinary way.


User avatar
Topix Expert
Posts: 743
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:27 pm

On the High Sierra Trail the deer are pretty bad about this. A doe walked around our camp repeatedly until I started throwing rocks. She was really interested in a friend's sleeping bag being aired out on a tent. At Hamilton Lake, the deer and squirrels go nuts over stuff - deer will steal your shirt and chew it up if you leave it out to dry. We were entertained by a dancing chipmunk who kept running around and standing up to look at us - I threw a pine cone at the bear box, making a loud bang, and not only that 'munk but a second one sneaking in from another direction took off at top speed.

When animals get used to people, they'll chew on your stuff and test everything. Except marmots. They've never been afraid of people and never needed "taming." They'll just be brazen no matter what. I was throwing rocks at one arrogant little brat and he stood up on his hind legs like a little bear as if to show me how tough he was. That maneuver resulted in a rock accidentally striking him. He kind of reeled back a little and dropped and walked off as if miffed.
User avatar
Topix Junkie
Posts: 2386
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby 87TT » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:40 pm

Id a doe take off with my tee shirt one time. Had to chase her down for it.
User avatar
Topix Regular
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:44 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby dave54 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:07 pm

I disperse camp in my RV all the time. RVers call it 'boondocking'. At one of my favorite haunts just north of LVNP I placed some salt blocks about 100 yards from my campsite (the kind used by ranchers for livestock) to attract deer and whatnot.

The first two weekends after I placed them there were no tracks or increased sign. The third weekend about a month later the entire area was thick with deer, and tracks I believe were elk (elk are rare in this area). No bear or cat tracks I could see in the soft dirt, but I did notice more bear scat in the area. I did not expect that level of response.

I would not place salt blocks anywhere there are open range cattle because you would attract the wrong kind of critters (big dumb ones that will rub up against the side of an RV), and you cannot hunt within a 1/4 mile of a salt block.

I have to ponder whether I want to place more at some of my other frequented campsites.
Log off and get outdoors!
User avatar
Founding Member
Posts: 968
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby FeetFirst » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:43 pm

maverick wrote:
VR wrote:

It was decades ago. I was alone at Benson Lake. Earlier on in this 80 mile hike I had
issues with bears at night. I literally drew a "line in the sand" with my urine and went
to bed.

That night I awoke to a strange sound. I turned on my light and looked out toward my
"line". Several glowing eyes stared back at me. It was a line of deer licking up my "line".

I even have a picture of it somewhere!

That would be interesting to see.

"I even have a picture of it somewhere!"

I vote for "it" to be defined first before any pictures are shown. :D
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
User avatar
Topix Regular
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:35 am
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Weird deer behavior?

Postby Jimr » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:32 pm

The ego will mess with you and try to get you to man up by going against your better judgment. Always follow your instincts, not your ego.
Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
User avatar
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 1720
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby Shawn » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:35 pm

Years back I was on my way to Mineral King for a day hike. Before sunrise, I stopped at a gas station in Three Rivers to top off the gas tank. As I slowly exited the gas station, I heard an odd sound and rolled down my window thinking I had car problems.

It was then I noticed a large buck in my rear view mirror, following me out of the station with a loud "clackity clack" on the smooth concrete. As I sped up it continued to pursue me up the highway quite a ways until I sped up significantly.

After an enjoyable day hike, I returned down the mountain to Three Rivers where once again I decided to top off the tank for the trip home. I went into the mini-mart to get some road snacks. It was then as I stood there in line waiting to pay for my items that I recalled the weird deer behavior of the early morning.

As I stepped up to the counter to pay, I commented to the elderly lady working there about the deer chasing my car. I figured she would think I'm some kind of city boy nut case. Instead, she turns around to an open office door and yells "Jack, your g*d damned deer are chasing the customers again!".

You can imagine my dismay......

Later I learned that some people in Three Rivers treat the deer population as pets, providing food and shelter and so on.
Topix Expert
Posts: 935
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:56 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby ndwoods » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:28 pm

I always have deer in popular camp areas loiter around me. Then I've watched them lick the pee spots. Salt.
User avatar
Founding Member
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby uclacody0908 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:25 pm

Interesting story shawn and creepy! Spoke with a hunter today who also told me the deer is probably fed and treated as a pet since this seems to be a popular camp area at Laurel lake.
User avatar
Topix Novice
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 2:54 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Weird deer behavior?

Postby jmherrell » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:31 pm

Once when I was at Spring Lake (Mineral King) I passed a camp with four women and one asked if I had seen a deer carrying a bra. What!? The deer apparently had carried away all their bras hanging in a tree to dry.
User avatar
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:41 pm
Experience: N/A


Return to The Campfire

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TahoeJeff and 2 guests