July 26, 2014

When Hunting, Look Out for Flesh Eating Deer and Other Ungulates

As a hunter, one’s approach at stalking prey certainly depends upon the characteristics of the sought after prey. For that matter, what a hunter does in the woods and what he or she pays attention to is dependent upon what other large predators might be skulking about seeking whom they may devour.

As an example, if a hunter was stalking grey wolves, there’s always the thought of what could happen if a wolf or a pack of wolves turned on the hunter. Therefore, the methods of the hunt will vary considerably from that of hunting a whitetail deer in forests where few, if any, other large man-eating predators roam.

But what if that whitetail deer, or elk, or moose, we discovered, had turned from being a vegan to a meat eater? Normally hunters sneak quietly through the hardwoods, the swamps and thickets, moving as little as possible and limited in making noise as can possibly be done. This is because the deer is easily spooked and will often be gone before the hunter is even aware they were there from the beginning. Would that tactic change if deer stalked man?

Don’t laugh. First of all, some deer do stalk people. I’ve had it happen to me several times, especially on snow. It isn’t that the deer was stalking me to kill me, or at least that’s what I’ve always thought, I believe it is done more out of curiosity, as well as a clever avoidance tactic; i.e. hey, hunter, turn around and look behind you once in awhile.

Deer are herbivores right? – Meaning they eat only plants. It seems that’s not exactly true.

If deer are interested in eating fresh market beef, how soon before those same deer will be learning how to effectively stalk man, not out of curiosity, but for want of a hot fleshy meal? Not soon I hope.

In the article linked to above, we learn that many herbivores do enjoy an occasional high-protein diet, mostly from leftovers from others kills, but some have been known to do their own killing for the meat.

I suggest looking behind you more than occasionally while stalking about the woods. You never know what hungry beast waits you in the brush.

  • alrem

    This declining species has been reading MDIFW’s web page. With any luck, moose will catch on and look for flesh also.

    If this is going to remain the same decline, is counting moose going to also be a thing of the past when they are gone?

    The only way to make the playing field a little more even is to introduce gene-splicing into our deer, and moose. An enlarged deer with fangs may be desirable…

    • TRemington

      So if we crossed a wolf with a moose would we get a woose or a muff?