Aggressive deer on the rise in the Kootenays as fawning season arrives

Fawning season is in full swing and reports have been popping up on social media about encounters with aggressive deer in Kimberley and Cranbrook.

One post in the Kimberley Cork Board page indicated an elderly woman had to be taken to the hospital after her and her dog were attacked while walking on the Rails to Trails pathway.

Sgt. Jim Melenka with the Conservation Officer Service was unable to comment on that particular incident as no report had been filed that he is aware of, but did say the office has been receiving calls.

“We’ve had a lot of deer protecting their fawns and especially with dogs around,” he said. “We’ve probably had 40 or 50 calls throughout Cranbrook and Kimberley about deer protecting fawns, mostly involved dogs.”

Fawning season occurs every year, as do these sorts of encounters with aggressive does. In June of 2021 a Kimberley woman hospitalized with serious injuries after she was attacked while walking her dog near Rotary Drive.

“If you know they’re in the area, give them a week or two weeks,” Melenka said. “It’s really hard for people to adjust where they walk their dogs, because they’re small areas, but if they can adjust their schedule a little bit to accommodate those fawns until they get a little bit more mobile, mom gets a little bit less aggressive, a little less protective. Hopefully it passes, but we know that it’s a tough time of year for everybody to be out there.”

To report an encounter with an aggressive deer, or to report wildlife in conflict or a sighting of a bear, cougar or wolf in an urban area, contact the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.