FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) officials lethally removed a mule deer buck from the Continental Country Club neighborhood Tuesday, following numerous reports of an aggressive deer.
Since December, AZGFD officers have responded to multiple calls about a large mule deer buck acting aggressively towards people. The buck was not showing any fear of humans and was chasing people and their pets.
Officers used rubber bullets in an attempt to haze the animal out of the area, but the buck didn't respond. Ultimately, the buck was lethally removed because it posed a threat to public safety, especially to children and the elderly, who may be less able to quickly react when approached by wildlife.
Meat from the animal was donated to charity and antlers from the four-point buck will be auctioned off later this year to support the department's law enforcement efforts.
During the breeding season, bucks may act more aggressive as they try to establish dominance over females and smaller bucks in the herd. This large buck was displaying more than normal aggressive behaviors and had the potential to severely injure or kill someone.
The feeding of wildlife by residents in the Continental area has contributed to the habituation of wildlife to humans and changes in their behavior. Deer are now frequently seen in town and not in the forest - where they should be - because they are attracted by food and water sources left out by residents.
"Wildlife become comfortable in town when they receive food and water from humans, which can cause them to lose their healthy fear of humans," said AZGFD Regional Supervisor Craig McMullen. "We encourage people not to become indifferent to the presence of wildlife. Numerous state and local regulations, including in Flagstaff, make it unlawful to intentionally feed wildlife that can cause property damage or pose a danger to humans."
The Arizona Game and Fish department reminds everyone to never approach wildlife, never leave out food or water and to help Keep Wildlife Wild.
Did you know?
The Arizona Game and Fish Department receives NO Arizona general fund tax dollars? We hold the state's wildlife in trust for the public without a dime from Arizona taxpayers. https://azgfdportal.az.gov/Agency/Funds
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AZGFD's programs or activities, including its employment practices, the individual may file a complaint alleging discrimination directly with the Director's Office, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attn: Civil Rights Coordinator for Public Access, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS:WSFR, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Director's Office as listed above.
Arizona Game & Fish Dept. · 5000 W. Carefree Hwy, Phoenix, AZ 85086
(602) 942-3000 · www.azgfd.gov
Shelly Shepherd, Public Information Officer
(928) 606-3070, email@example.com