Living with Deer and Wildlife

Resource Links:

Wildlife Tracker
Note: this is for informational purposes only. If you have been attacked or this is an emergency situation, contact APD at (541) 770-4784 or 911 as appropriate.

ODFW Living with Wildlife
Useful tips for living with all types of wildlife from ODFW.

Aggressive Deer Sign
Post this sign in areas where aggressive deer have been a problem to warn others.

Wildlife Smart Flyer
Learn how to stay safe while working or exploring the woods.



 What To Do When Encountering Wildlife?


Living with Black Bear Brochure
Click on the picture for a Living with Black Bear Brochure.
  • Do not feed bears or any other wildlife, this sets them up for acclimating to being around people and increases the chance that they will have to be lethally removed.
  • Consider getting a bear proof trash bin from Recology.
  • Never intentionally approach a bear. You can make noise when hiking so you don't surprise a bear that might be in the area.
  • Don't hike alone or at night. If you have a dog make sure it is on a leash.
  • Avoid trails with bear tracks or bear sighting signs.
  • If you do encounter a bear make sure it has a way to escape even if you have to step off the trail and slowly walk away.
  • If you see bear cubs, steer clear and leave the area as the mother will be near by.
  • If you encounter a bear, stay calm. Do not run or make sudden movements. Back away slowly as you face the bear.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the bear.
  • If a bear stands on his hind legs, he is trying to detect scents; he is not necessarily behaving aggressively.
  • Consider carrying bear spray in areas known to have bears.


Living with Deer Brochure
Click on the picture for a Living with Urban Deer Brochure.
  • Don't intentionally feed deer. Deer that are familiar with people can become aggressive.
  • Never, under any circumstance, approach a deer.
  • Be especially cautious of deer with fawns. Mother deer are very protective of their young.
  • Attacks by bucks are rare, but bucks may become aggressive in the "rut" season that runs October through December.
  • Observe deer from a distance, preferably from inside a structure or vehicle.
  • Keep pets inside when deer are in your yard. Female deer with fawns have been aggressive with pets, particularly small dogs.
  • Invest in a fence to keep deer out of your yard and plant deer resistant plants
  • Use extra caution when walking or hiking in city parks or municipal trails.​
  • Stay calm and stand your ground.
  • Maintain direct eye contact.
  • Do not run. Running triggers a chase response in cougars, which could lead to an attack.
  • Raise your voice and speak firmly.
  • Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity. Leave the animal a way to escape.
  • If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands.
  • If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, bear or pepper spray, tools or any items available.

When and Who to Call?

• If it’s an reoccurring event (the same animal that can be monitored)
Call ODFW at (503) 947-6000 and they can start monitoring the animal.
• When a resident has a wildlife encounter that endangers their safety?
Call the Non-Emergency Police Line at (541) 488-2211 or Dispatch at (541)-770-4784 and ODFW at (503) 947-6000.

Deer Sterilization December 2015 Statement
Ashland citizens have asked about the possibility of sterilizing deer to reduce the deer population in Ashland and one resident specifically referenced the use of salt licks to make deer sterile.
The following information was provided by Professor Michael Parker of SOU Biology Program:

“There is no such birth control deliverable by salt lick.  And, even if there were such a thing, the city would essentially be broadcasting a potent hormonal regulator that would be taken up by any animal attracted to the salt lick, not just the deer.  This is the same reason birth-control laden corn, or any other attractant shouldn't be considered. I think, unfortunately, there is a misconception that just because we have oral birth control for humans, there should be such a thing for other animals as well. There has been some research done in this area, but nothing remotely suggests that there will be a solution for an urban deer problem any time soon (if ever).”

The following information was provided by Mark Vargas of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“Sterilization techniques are always the ones that many folks like to see happen, but like we have discussed in the past most contraception attempts for deer that have some level of success are from gated communities or “islands” where the deer cannot migrate. In addition, usually the deer population is small, 50 deer or less. There are basically two main types of contraceptive drugs used for wildlife, GonaCon and SpayVac, these sometimes work when injected into the animals. Oral administration is still experimental and minimally looked favorably upon. One of the main concerns with oral contraception is that non-target mammals can ingest the drug, thus potentially causing other issues with sterilization and health of these animals or populations.
I still maintain that this type of management action will not be prudent. Ashland has hundreds of deer and miles of access to public lands with even more deer available for migration. We continue to get numerous phone calls regarding deer in Ashland, and we continue to try and educate folks on human safety, damage and nuisance control.
Here are two articles with information that may be helpful."​

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