Please don’t feed the deer – for your safety and theirs!
Throughout late spring and summer, Eagle Crest’s resident deer population grows with the arrival of fawns. This adorable sight is best enjoyed from a distance, as interactions with mama deer and their fawns pose a risk for people and deer alike. A doe may show aggression toward perceived threats to her young, including children and pets. Please refrain from approaching deer on the resort. They are wild creatures and should be treated as such.
Feeding of deer is also discouraged, in accordance with the advice of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. There are several reasons why feeding deer causes more harm than good, including:
- Chronic disease – deer herds concentrate around supplemental feeding efforts, which can quicken the spread of tuberculosis and Addenovirus Hemorrahagic Disease (AHD has decimated the Eagle Crest “herd” in the past).
- Digestive harm – deer have four-part stomachs meant to break down woody, leafy, and grassy foods. Their stomachs contain microbial environments that change throughout the year and are specific to the type of food available in their environment at that time. Giving deer the wrong food at the wrong time of year can cause them to be unable to digest anything at all, and they eventually die with full stomachs.
- Changing natural behaviors – Deer lose their fear of humans, which increases the likelihood of deadly encounters with vehicles. Another concern is the potential disruption of traditional migratory patterns and self-feeding behaviors.
- Concentrated deer attract predators – You may have heard about periodic cougar sightings in Central Oregon, including here at Eagle Crest. Feeding deer could make them bait for a predator, putting pets and children at risk.
- Neighborhood conflict and disagreements – For every person who enjoys the deer’s presence at Eagle Crest, another owner or guest wishes they would all go away and leave their property/pets/flowers alone.