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CPW News Release
CPW News Release
Woman seriously injured after being gored by deer; neighbor under investigation for suspicion of illegally possessing, feeding deer

Bill Vogrin
Southeast Region Public Information Officer

Black Forest woman attacked by deer CPW believes was illegally raised by neighbor

Blood stained the antlers of a young buck deer believed to have attacked a woman walking her dog on a wooded trail near her Black Forest home on Friday. The deer was euthanized when it aggressively approached a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer who was investigating the attack later Friday morning. CPW officers believe a neighbor illegally raised and fed the deer and it lost its fear of humans.
Photo is courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Oct. 16, 2020

Black Forest woman attacked by deer CPW believes was illegally raised by neighbor

BLACK FOREST, Colo. – A young buck deer attacked and seriously injured a woman Friday morning as she was walking her dog along a wooded path near her home, requiring Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers to track and euthanize the animal.

The attack comes after CPW wildlife officers received tips that a neighbor of the victim was feeding the 1 ½-year-old buck – and even raised it after it was orphaned – in violation of state law.

CPW had been investigating the tips, but officers had been unable to verify the claims, or catch the neighbor in the act of feeding the deer, before Friday’s attack.

The victim suffered serious lacerations to the top of her head, her left cheek and her legs. She was taken by ambulance to a Colorado Springs hospital for treatment of her injuries. She remained hospitalized Friday night but was expected to recover.

Later Friday morning, a CPW wildlife officer was approached outside the victim’s home by a young buck with obvious blood on its antlers. Given the aggressive nature of the buck and the visible blood on its antlers, the officer euthanized the deer.

CPW officers conducted interviews in the neighborhood including with the person accused of feeding and raising the orphaned deer. Based on information gathered during the interviews, CPW officers will be issuing a citation once the investigation has concluded. 

“This is another sad example of what happens when people feed wildlife,” said Frank McGee, area wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region. “They become habituated to people, lose their fear and become aggressive and dangerous.

“This buck showed no fear of the woman and her dog. And when our officer responded to the scene, it approached within a few feet. This tells me the deer was very comfortable around people. Dangerously comfortable. It viewed humans as a source of food.”

Human conflict with wildlife is increasing throughout Colorado and especially in Front Range communities where human populations are expanding. McGee fears similar conflicts will continue until people take seriously state laws forbidding the feeding of wildlife.

“This is why it is illegal to feed deer and why we urge people to make them feel uncomfortable in neighborhoods,” McGee said. “The issue is far more serious than ruined landscaping or even the car wrecks they cause on a daily basis on our roads. 

“We had a young boy attacked in Colorado Springs in June. And we had a 72-year-old woman attacked and seriously injured in Black Forest in 2017. All three are lucky the results weren’t much worse.”

According to neighbors, the deer in Friday's attack was frequently seen in the area approaching people and seeking human attention.

Indeed, the victim told CPW she the deer started following her as she walked her dog Friday morning. She turned to face the deer and it lowered its antlers and began jabbing her abdomen.

When she realized she was under attack, the victim said she dropped her dog, grabbed the deer’s antlers and she and the animal fell to the ground. It gored her until she was able to regain her feet and run. 

After trying to get help at a neighbor's house, she ran back to her own home. She punched in the security code to open her garage door only to come under attack by the deer a second time. 

She ran between two cars in the garage to get away from the deer and end the attack.

The deer was taken to a lab for a rabies test and necropsy. The incident remains under investigation.

To learn more about living with wildlife, please visit the CPW website.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
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