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Mule Deer Attack

Mule Deer Attack in Silver Cliff Raises Concerns About Wildlife Feeding

SILVER CLIFF, COLORADO  A 67-year-old woman was attacked and injured by a mule deer buck outside her home in Silver Cliff, Colorado, a remote town in Custer County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) reported. The incident, which took place on Saturday evening, highlights the growing concern about human-wildlife conflicts and the dangers of feeding wild animals.

The victim, a resident of Silver Cliff, a small town of about 600 people located 55 miles west of Pueblo, was gored by the buck just outside her front door. The animal, described as a small buck with two spikes on each antler, caused a puncture wound to her left leg and significant bruising on her right leg. She managed to escape and call her husband for help, and was subsequently taken to a hospital in Pueblo for treatment.

CPW officers are currently searching for the buck involved in the attack. Mike Brown, CPW Area Wildlife Manager, said, “This is a good reminder that wild animals should always be treated as such and that people need to give wildlife the space they need. We’re glad this woman wasn’t more seriously injured.” He expressed concern that feeding wildlife, as was evidenced by a bird feeder in the yard and bread thrown out by the victim, can cause animals to lose their natural fear of humans, leading to aggressive and dangerous behavior.

Photos taken at the hospital show injuries to the legs of a Silver Cliff woman after she was attacked by a mule deer buck and gored by its antlers. Photos Courtesy of CPW.

This incident coincides with the deer rut, or mating season, when bucks can be more aggressive. CPW has not reported recent aggressive deer behavior in Silver Cliff. The agency plans to euthanize the deer if found, to prevent future attacks.

Safety Tips for Residents and Visitors:

  1. Do Not Feed Wildlife: Feeding deer and other wildlife is illegal and dangerous, as it can lead to aggressive behavior and increased human-wildlife conflicts.
  2. Maintain a Safe Distance: Always keep a safe distance from wild animals, even if they appear tame or friendly.
  3. Secure Your Property: Ensure that your property does not inadvertently attract wildlife, such as through accessible garbage or pet food.
  4. Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings, especially during wildlife mating seasons when animals can be more aggressive.
  5. Report Wildlife Conflicts: If you encounter aggressive wildlife, report it to local authorities or wildlife officers immediately.

For more information on why feeding wildlife is dangerous and illegal, visit the CPW’s educational page here.

This article is part of our commitment to keeping our community informed and safe regarding wildlife interactions. Stay updated and stay safe.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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