As many Kootenay residents will have noticed, the mule deer rut is in full swing.
WildSafe BC warns that the mule deer bucks are in rut in the month of November and they may challenge you if you get too close.
According to information provided by WildSafe BC, males reach peak condition and size close to breeding season in the fall which peaks in November. During this time the bucks will not eat and will lock antlers with other males to win the chance to mate with any receptive females in the vicinity.
Signs of rut include bucks exhibiting swollen necks, and they can be observed rubbing shrubs with their antlers, displaying dominance by strutting, circling and tail flicking.
While fawning season in the spring is when does can be aggressive, bucks are most aggressive during the fall rut.
Signs of an imminent charge include deer laying their ears back and lowering their head.
If you encounter deer, give them a wide berth and keep pets on leash and under control, Wildsafe BC advises. If a deer indicates it may attack you or your pet, avoid eye contact, speak softly and back away slowly. If there is a tree or other solid object nearby, try to get behind it. If you have bear spray, it can also be used on deer if they get too close.
If you are attacked by a deer try to stay upright, cover your head with your arms and move to shelter. If you are concerned for your safety or have sighted deer in your neighborhood that are no longer afraid of people or pets, please report them to the Conservation Officer Service by calling 1-877-952-7277.