Do Deer Bite People? (Rarely – But Don’t do This!)

Deer generally donot bite people, but under rare circumstances, they are known to bite if they see people as dangerous. Deer bites can be nasty as they tend to hold on tightly after biting and don’t let go off easy.

Once deer get aggressive they are known to impart some damage to people or objects. Biting can be followed with head butts with antlers and with hoof attacks.

Do Deer Bite People

Do Deer Bites Hurt?

Deer bites certainly can hurt, but as deer are ruminants, so they don’t have a top row of teeth. Instead, they have a pad on the top of their mouth. This can soften the blow somewhat.

To the majority of the people, it may come as a surprise that deer can bite viciously. When deer bite, they don’t let go easily. If you struggle more, the bite will get harder and it can hurt. This is what can make deer bites dangerous.

If the deer bites your hand, it is easy to panic, but that will make the situation worse, so instead of shaking your hand and shouting, try freezing for a few moments and then slowly but steadily moving backward and try to get the deer to let go of your hand softly.

However, head butts from deer are known to be nastier than their biting. So, if you only get bitten, consider yourself lucky.Their antler attacks are much more ferocious than their biting and can be fatal!

Related Article: Do Deer Mate for Life?

How to Avoid Being Bitten by a Deer

Deer are wild animals and have no intention of bothering humans. They mostly mind their own business and have nothing to do with us.

However, sometimes they can attack you if they feel cornered or have babies nearby.

So they won’t generally go out of their way to bother humans but if by chance you encounter a deer, most likely the deer will ignore you as long as you keep a steady distance between yourselves.

He or she won’t come to bother you on their own without any conclusive reasons. If you end up encountering deer, it’s best not to spook them and to move away quickly from that space.

Most deer won’t act aggressive towards humans and may just run away in your presence but they are also known to suddenly turn aggressive without any solid reason especially in the breeding season when they can act territorial as they may have babies nearby.

Deer attacks are not something rare, especially in certain parts of the US. Every year, on average, 120 people die from deer attacks in the US alone from deer-related incidents (the majority are not from direct deer attacks but as a result of vehicle accidents though).

Read Also: Where do Deer Live?

What to do if a Deer Bites You?

A deer bite can hurt but luckily, their bites are comparatively less damaging than other methods of their attack. They are known to do more damage by using their antlers and hooves.

If you have got bitten by a deer, it means that the deer is in an aggressive mood and can hurt you more if you don’t take cover.

Slowly move back while facing the deer and keep on stepping back one step at a time.

If you have a tree nearby, climb it up. Seek help from a professional to avoid potential infection and to have the damage checked.

Related Article: Why do Baby Deer Have Spots?

Are Deer usually Friendly?

Deer are wild animals and, like the majority of the wild animals, they are not particularly friendly towards humans. They may be curious about humans, but most frightened of them.

Younger deer, in particular, can act curious and come near humans but normally, adult deer will avoid being around humans.

If you ever encounter a deer, never try to pet them or try to feed them. It’s because if they feel threatened they will do either of the two things, either they will flee or they will attack you.

If a deer decides to attack you, it can turn gruesome as they can do some really bad damage if they want. So it is best to leave them alone.

What to do if a Deer is Acting Aggressively?

If a deer is really serious about hurting you, there is not much you can do to tackle them head-on, especially without any kind of prior experience.

But there are some points you need to be aware of while tackling a charging deer.

  •  Find some kind of a cover. If you find a tree nearby, climb it up and hopefully, the deer will go away after some time. If there are no trees around, try to find some kind of object that will act as a barrier between you and the deer. It can be a rock or a boulder or anything.
  • Do not ever turn your back to an aggressive deer: Make sure not to ever turn your back on any spooked deer as deer, like many other animals like horses are known to attack from the back. 
  • Protect your vitals: If you have been hit with a blow and are already on the ground, curl yourself up in a fetal position so that your head, neck, chest, and abdomen remain somewhat protected against any direct blows. If you dont attack back and take a few hits and keep on staying in this position, the deer may realize that you are not a threat and move on.

Many people are known to have charged at the deer instead, taking charge of the first attack and catching them by their antlers. But it is never a sound idea as deer are stronger than humans and if you attack, the deer will definitely think of you as a serious threat and can do some really bad damage using their hooves and antlers.

Making loud noises and aggressive moves is like a double-edged sword, it can either make the deer intimidated by you and can give you the time to find a better cover or to escape or, in a worst-case scenario, may end up spooking the deer more.

Deer attacks can be fatal. Hence, it’s best to avoid being attacked by a deer in the first place and always to change your course or do stuff while maintaining a distance from the deer so that they don’t get spooked.

They may look peaceful from a distance but once spooked they can turn hostile within seconds. It’s like they will suddenly explode out of nowhere.

Your second-best option is to take some kind of a cover, let some time pass, and hope that the deer realizes that you are not a threat and goes away. Deerdont have great stamina in comparison with other wild animals and hence may lose interest in you if you keep them busy for some time.


Deer bites are known to be quite nasty, but their biting strength is maybe lesser than that of say crocodiles. Nevertheless, it can lead to injuries that will require a visit to the hospital.

Humans in general are just not equipped to handle wild creatures with bare hands.Deerarestrong and shouldn’t be underestimated.

Moreover, they don’t stop only after biting. Once they have been cornered and have decided that you are a threat they will try to get the best of you before they leave. So, biting will be followed with a combination of hoof and antler attacks. So if you find a wild deer out in the outskirts of the woods, never ever try to feed them or approach them. Move on quickly from that area without getting too much of their attention.

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