Buck stops here: Deer duke it out in Oak Bay as rutting season begins

Buck stops here: Deer duke it out in Oak Bay as rutting season begins
Courtesy Brian Eccles

An Oak Bay resident captured some incredible video of a head-on battle between two deer at the start of rutting season.

Brian Eccles was out riding his bike in his neighbourhood, around Uplands Park, when he spotted the approximately five-year-old bucks clashing.

The deer were locked in battle and pushed each other back and forth over a residential lawn, into some bushes and then a soil bed. How did it end?

“It was a draw,” Eccles said.

Since moving to Oak Bay a decade ago, the former Haida Gwaii resident has gone out during rutting season to take pictures and document the district’s urban deer population — which is so prolific the district had to enact a deer birth control program in recent years.

While he says he has enough wildlife experience to be aware of how the animals react, but is sounding the alarm for pet owners who could run into trouble during the rut, which runs into December.

“Those deer are big and they they move very quickly, and they can come into your territory in your space very quickly, so you have to avoid them. You can watch them from a distance,” he said.

The District of Oak Bay recommends avoiding conflicts with urban deer by supervising your pets, such as keeping cats inside and walking dogs on a short leas during rutting season — and never unleash them in areas where you know deer might be.

It also recommends trying to avoid encounters by preventing access to your home via fencing, garden barriers, repellents and scarecrows.

As for the well-being of the two bucks, Eccles said he saw them both back out in the community on future walks, no worse for wear.


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