Deer attack sends Oregon bird watcher to hospital

Deer attack sends Oregon bird watcher to hospital
A mule deer buck (photo courtesy ODFW)

UMATILLA, Ore. - A deer attacked a bird watcher at an Oregon wildlife area Thursday, forcing the man to go to the hospital for treatment.

Quentin Hinds, 49, of Hermiston, Ore., was bird watching at an Army Corp of Engineers Wildlife Area just below McNary Dam near Umatilla when he started taking pictures of the buck mule deer, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

At some point, the deer attacked him, injuring his leg. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

The fall is breeding season for deer in this area, and aggressive behavior by buck deer is quite common, ODFW warned in a press release. Known as the 'rut,' males engage in sparring matches and run off other bucks in competition for females deer.

“People should be very cautious this time of year around deer and never approach any wildlife,” said Kevin Blakely, ODFW Watershed District Manager. “While there is a lot of interest in viewing deer at this time of year, people should always maintain a safe distance.” 

ODFW biologists, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division troopers and Army Corps of Engineer personnel are looking for the deer.

The deer are quite used to human activity on the wildlife area, ODFW said. The deer involved in the incident will have to be removed to prevent any problems in the future.