A woman and her dog were assaulted by an aggressive deer earlier this week after working on and around her farm in Greenbrier County.
Linda Snyder, of the Richlands area outside Lewisburg, said that the deer first attacked her rottweiler before turning its attention to her.
“She (Mrs. Snyder’s rottweiler) was outside, in the fenced-in area (on her property) and the deer came in to get her,” Snyder said.
Snyder recounted that she heard the commotion, but initially thought her dog was having a seizure, a pre-existing condition.
“I went outside to check on her. When I saw what was going on I stayed on the deck and called the dog. Then I started yelling and clapping my hands to try and scare the deer off.”
Snyder explained that the large deer was violently bucking and kicking the dog, who is herself a “big full-blooded rottweiler.” Eventually the dog made its way back to the porch area, but the deer followed her up onto the deck. It was then that the aggressive deer turned its attention toward Snyder.
“The deer started rearing and bucking at me. So I grabbed a lawn chair (from the deck) and started swinging. Finally the deer turned and ran off,” Snyder said, also noting that she did not hit the animal with the chair. However, according to Snyder, the deer did smash through a section of the old tobacco-stick picket fence on her property while making its retreat.
Snyder reported the attack to Greenbrier County Emergency Services, and an officer from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources came out to investigate. Unfortunately, the animal was gone by the time they arrived. According to Todd Dowdy with the DNR it is possible for a doe to sometimes become aggressive in this manner if it believes her fawns to be in danger. And bucks may also exhibit this type of behavior while in the rut during the fall months.
Snyder is also fairly certain she has seen the deer again since the attack, standing at the top of the hill behind her home, peering down into her flower garden.
“The deer come down all the time. I think they like the roses,” Snyder said. But this is the first time any have been aggressive toward her or any of her animals. “I think it was a buck. It was a great big thing. And I want that deer out of here feet first!”
Neither Snyder, nor her dog were injured during the attack.
Mr. Dowdy also told the WV Daily News that this type of incident involving deer is very rare. However, it is not completely unprecedented.
“It’s important to let people know that this can happen, and does,” Snyder said.
If a deer is encountered in the wild, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, that it is best to continue to face the deer while slowly backing away from the area. And dogs should be kept on a leash at all times.