View Full Version : strange deer behavour
I watched a big buck turning around and around in a 6' circle for over an hour. ###He was in a 3' deep dry stream bed, churning up the sand. ###I rattled at him and he didn't even pause. ###When I could take no more, I backed my clankety old climbing stand out of the tree - he didn't look up though I was around 150' from him. ###I snuck over to 20' from him - he didn't react to the couple of sticks that I stepped on. ###He did jump when it was too late and I'd hit him in the heart.
Could the rut have made him that oblivious? ###What's with the circling? ###Was he just nuts?
11-28-2001, 06:15 PM
###Sounds strange to me.i would suggest haveing him checked out by a conservation officer or vet for disease as a precaution.i would also tell the conservation officer what i observed this deer doing,it could be nothing,and it could be something that needs looked into.
You're right - best not to take a chance. ###Be a shame, though, it was a big deer. ###Really strange looking rack - depending how you count it was either 6 or 10 points. ###I'll post a pic after I develop the film.
Talked to a couple of hunters in Utah the last time I deer hunted there. They had a big 3-pointer they killed that was doing the same thing. On dragging the deer down the hill things did not feel right, on closer examination the antlers were moving. They found a small knick on one antler where a bullet from another hunter had clipped it, cracked the skull between the antlers. Man what a head ache that must have been.
11-28-2001, 07:15 PM
The situation Dan V. described was quite clearly brain damage from trauma. ###If Ray's deer hadn't suffered physical trauma, I would suspect possible brain damage from some other source -- like disease. ###Ray didn't say what area in the country he got that deer, but was it in an area with brain wasting disease?
11-29-2001, 07:08 AM
### I had a dog that chased his tail too but he would eventually give up.Were there a bunch of magic mushroom stems strewn about the creek bed? Do you have any pirate weed farms in the area? Myabe deer go through post traumatic stress disorder after a rough season opener. All kidding aside I would get him check out for wasting disease. It sounds like the condition those trout had whirling something or other, just swam in a circle till they croaked.
I'm in north Chatham county NC. ###I haven't heard any reports of "mad deer" disease here - anybody know if it has spread into this area?
As I said, the deer did have an unusual rack, but nothing growing into his skull or anything. ###Don't know about his recreational drug use (neglected to ask before I shot him).
I've got him jointed on ice and I saved the head intact. ###I'll be taking the parts to get checked as soon as I figure out where to go.
Thanks for all the quick responses.
After talking to many people who know about these things (head state epidemiologist, wildlife disease experts, etc.), the overall feeling is that this deer was infected with one of any number of bad things. ###EHD, rabies, lysteria, nematodes, lead poisoning, brain abscess, and meningeal worms were all on the list. ###
Since I won't starve if I don't eat this meat, I'm going to dispose of it. ###I'm starting post-exposure rabies treatment tomorrow.
Seems a shame, but better safe than sorry.
Next time I'll wear gloves to gut and butcher for sure.
Thanks to all for your input.
11-29-2001, 01:55 PM
Thats a shame, but if he was aflicted with one of those problems you did him a favor. If he was as I asked chewing up the magic mushroom crop then your just a buzz killer mannnnnnn. Either way you got a cool story to tell around the camp fire next year.
That's me, the rabid buzz killer.
Here I thought I had been so skillful in sneaking up on this guy, but it seems I might have walked up and clubbed him to death. ###So much for the great hunter. ###Not your average hunting story.
Ray - i've been following this story with interest. Thanks for following through. I would still consider having the head tested for disease and I'd think the game management for your state would want to do the same. Regardless, you're doing the right thing by disposing of the meat. How much would you enjoy eating something you don't trust anyways?
On the point of being a "great" hunter, you've done a good deed by removing the "disturbed" deer. No idea how much he was suffering.
Please keep us up to date if you find anything out further. Good luck,
11-29-2001, 07:03 PM
I heard that the chronic wasting disease makes the deer run and walk in circles.
I would definitely get it checked by conservation.
Unfortunately, I didn't refrigerate the head since I didn't think there was anything wrong with the deer when I butchered it. ###Nothing can really be done with tissue that's been allowed to deteriorate for a week.
Don't get me wrong, I do feel that I did the deer a favor by taking it out. ###Certainly this was a good thing for the rest of the deer population and whatever scavengers that may have eaten it after it kicked over on it's own, too. ###
I'm not about to eat possibly contaminated meat either. ###It just hurt a bit to have to bury 60 pounds of meat (the rabies treatment is no fun either).
I have learned some important lessons here. ###
The first is obvious - I should have examined the deer's behavior critically instead of just thinking about the meat I would get. ###I think if I had taken those blinders off, I would have realized that it wasn't acting normally. ###Had I put the head on ice, it could have been tested. ###As it is, I have blown any chance to find out what was going on here. ###Examination of this animal would not only have benifited my own situation, but could have yielded useful information to the community as a whole.
Second, I will never dress and butcher another animal without double latex gloves and eye protection. ###Every medical professional that I have spoken with tells me that I could have avoided almost all exposure by taking these precautions.
Hunting is much more than putting meat on the table. ###I've just been reminded of that.
12-03-2001, 05:33 PM
I've found the post very interesting and informative. Thanks for following this through to the end with us.
You did the right thing by killing it. You have learned a valuable lesson and taught all of us along the way. Now I know what to do if I come across this behavoir. It made me feel good I use gloves to clean my deer, but never thought of eye protection.
Do you think we need eye protection for safe sex?
That depends on what you're doing, I guess. ###Do beer goggles count as safety glasses?
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.7 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.