Skip to Content

How to Pet a Deer (And Is it Safe in the Wild?)

How to Pet a Deer (And Is it Safe in the Wild?)

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you find deer to be very beautiful and cute animals? You might have seen a particular animated classic movie in the past and always thought that deer were sort of cool.

Many people would like to be able to pet a deer, but they understand that it probably isn’t a good idea. You might still wonder how you can do it and if there is a safe way to pet a wild creature like this.

There is the possibility that you could encounter a deer in the wild at some point. Deer are prevalent in many parts of North America, and people often see deer in the wild during particular times of the year.

Keep reading to get more information about whether it’s a good idea to try to pet a deer. You’ll be able to learn if it’s safe to do so and what you should try to do if you see a deer out in the wild.

Deer Are Hard to Sneak up on

One of the first things to understand about trying to pet a deer is that it usually isn’t going to work out. It’s not technically impossible to sneak up on a deer and pet it, but most deer will notice your presence before too long.

Deer have great instincts and it can be incredibly tough to sneak up on a deer. They have honed these instincts as a way to protect themselves from predators.

It would be very tough to be quiet enough to sneak up on a deer because of how alert they are. Even when it appears that a deer is asleep and laying down, it’s actually going to be alert enough to react to the things that are going on around it.

The most likely scenario that will occur is that you will start to get close to a deer and it will spring up and run away from you. This means that your plans to pet a deer in the wild might not be ones that you should have your heart set on.

Don’t Try to Pet a Deer

It’s going to be an incredibly bad idea to try to pet a wild deer. Deer are generally going to have a healthy fear of humans and will try to run away once they notice your presence.

If you do manage to sneak up on a deer, then it’s possible that you might be able to touch a deer with your hand. However, the deer is likely going to freak out and kick at you as soon as you make contact.

You could easily get injured by a kicking deer even if you’re only dealing with a fawn. It’s also good to note that going near a fawn could be a recipe for disaster.

Does will often be nearby when fawns appear to be alone. A mother deer will scout the area and keep an eye out for predators to protect her fawn.

The mother deer is going to see you as a threat if you choose to approach the fawn. This could lead the mother deer to charge at you and start attacking.

You could get seriously injured by a deer if you aren’t careful. It’s a horrible idea to get too close to a fawn or any other type of deer that you see out in the wild for this reason.

Bucks Can Be Especially Dangerous

Bucks are going to be even more dangerous than does and fawns. There’s the potential that you could run into what is known as a rutting buck.

A rutting buck is basically a buck that is crazy due to it being the mating season. This period of time begins in the middle of October and lasts until sometime in early December.

During the mating season, bucks are going to be crazy and will do really wild things. Some bucks have even chased people down and attacked them in a rage.

Rutting bucks lose their fear of people and will be more likely to fight than to run away. It makes things especially dangerous for anyone who is spending time in wooded areas that are known to have deer.

There are even stories of a buck swimming across a body of water just to get to a man who was trying to fish. If you see a wild buck during rutting season, you’re going to want to slowly back away.

Trying to pet a rutting buck would be a terrible mistake. The potential is there for a rutting buck to kill a human, and you could get seriously injured if you’re lucky enough to make it out alive.

Even if you encounter a buck during other parts of the year, it’s not going to be wise to engage with it. It might choose to just run from you if you’re lucky, but it could choose to fight and then try to run.

You Could Try to Safely Observe Wild Deer From a Distance

Instead of trying to pet a wild deer, it might be safer to try to observe wild deer from a distance. Many people find it fascinating to see wild deer on their properties, and they’ll try to attract deer to the area for that reason.

You could grow certain types of food in your yard to see if you can get deer to stop by. Deer will like things such as berries, and they’ll also appreciate tall patches of grass that they can graze on and hide in.

Buy yourself some binoculars and look out into your yard to see if any deer are present. Observing the deer can actually be pretty satisfying, and it’s definitely a lot safer than trying to pet one.

Of course, many people attract deer by placing salt lick blocks on their properties. You could do that if you want to, but it’s mostly hunters that use those to try to help keep the deer population in one area.

Sometimes these methods are used to try to increase the number of deer in the area or to ensure that deer will grow healthy and strong. There are protein salt blocks that can be used to give extra nutrition to deer, but some areas might make it illegal to use certain things.

If your intentions are only to observe the deer, then you might choose to just be patient and see if some come by your property. Deer will be more likely to be seen on your property if you live near the woods.

Go to a Deer Petting Zoo

If you really want to pet a deer safely, then you’re going to need to do so in a controlled environment. The best way to go about this is to seek out a deer petting zoo.

There are many petting zoos in North America that have exotic animals that you can meet. You’ll be able to pet the animals under supervision, and sometimes they’ll even let you feed the animals.

Generally, the animals at petting zoos are docile and sometimes they’re even somewhat domesticated. This isn’t always the case, but you’re going to be safe to pet the animals at a petting zoo so long as you follow the instructions given by the people running the business.

You might be able to find a petting zoo that is pretty close to your location. This could be a fun little trip for the whole family, and the petting zoo might have animals outside of just deer.

If you want to pet a deer specifically, then it’s probably wise to search for a petting zoo that includes deer. Deer might not be the most common animals at petting zoos, but they are still present at many petting zoos around the country.

You’ll find some petting zoos that just have typical barnyard animals that you’d see on a farm out in the country. Animals such as pigs, chickens, cows, horses, and goats are pretty common at standard petting zoos.

Exotic petting zoos might be a bit more interesting to you since those might have animals that you don’t encounter as often. Some of them will have deer, but they could also have animals that aren’t native to North America in some instances.

Final Thoughts

Knowing everything that you’ve read in this article, it should be easier to understand that petting a wild deer is bad news. This is something that could get you hurt, and it might even get you killed depending on the situation.

If you see a deer in the wild, it’s going to be wise to keep a respectful distance. In some instances, you should even back away slowly and try to go inside a shelter or some sort.

You might be able to have an easy time petting a deer if you choose to go to an exotic petting zoo. This is really the only safe way to pet a deer since you’ll be able to pet deer that are docile and have been taken in by humans.

Otherwise, you should abandon the idea of trying to pet a deer for the sake of your own health. It isn’t worth the risk of bodily harm, and it’s going to be very tough to get close to a deer without it running away even under the best of circumstances.

Use this information to make the wisest decision that you can. It’s fine to think that deer are cute and cool, but you have to prioritize your own health.


If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel

Share this post: