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Yes i have seen this. 2 years ago when driving a in Montana i saw a deer eating road kill. I did not believe it myself. Coming from Australia i had little knowledge of deer behavior but did not think this was USUAL. I asked a farmer if he had ever seen this as i thought i was dreaming. His reply was yes it does happen, but not to ever tell any hunters because they would just tell me I was drunk.
It was winter.
Oh just great! I already worry about getting attacked by a buck during rut, now I have to worry about getting eaten by one too! lol
While cutting up road kill in the Summer for trapping bait, we would be swarmed by Monarch Butterflies. As an entomologist I'd never seen this. Checked with Dr. Austin Frishman (Bug doctor) and it was explained as "Puddling". The butterflies are getting salt from the blood. I don't know if this is why the deer ate the legs and ears, but it may explain some of the vegetarians eating meat products.
On the occasions I have observed deer on gut piles it is during the open season which is prior to hard winter food shortages.
Also scavengers have already ripped the stomach open some deer are tempted by the easy pre-chewed food. Usually these are younger deer eating the contents.
you know i can see a deer eating the contiants of a gut pile but i find it hard to belive that a the deer would actually be eating meat. but there is always that chance. question though if this really does happen is it typically only in winter when its hard for them to find a food source? or is it actually more common than i think?
Regarding the deer chasing down fish - this could just be playful curiosity rather the need for food.
Forgot to mention this summer on numerous occasions deer were standing in shallow "frog ponds" submerging their heads much like moose do when eating aquatic vegetation. The were chewing something when they raised their heads but no vegetation was evident. I have wondered if they were eating tadpoles.
Do you think maybe they are not eating the guts but what was in the guts? this story really suprised me if its true. I need more pictures of an actual deer taking a bite.
id be alittle scared to see a doe with a blood face, I like zombie deer haha, no I agree with the boys i think they probably have all along for the protein and stuff
Hey Charlie---Totally agree with you. Been around fresh, deer-visited gut piles to have found tracks indicating that deer were eating the stomach contents--apples, mushrooms, acorns etc. However, I DO know of anecdotal incidences of deer eating trout from low-water streams. Go figure I guess.
This site is great! Never would have believed this if a fellow hunter told me something similar.
Interesting. I thought my observations of this were isolated. Although the deer I have seen at gut piles are eating the stomach contents and seem to avoid the meat parts. Along river backwaters I have witnessed deer eating dead fish and on a couple of occasions catching trapped suckers in shallow pools.
you have fed a deer jellybeans and crackers? Do u have a pet deer or something? But wow-i never would have guessed that deer eat meat.
thought i was seeing things but,did see a deer with what i thought was a small furry animal possibly a rabbit in its mouth, i remember asking my brother "do deer eat meat ?" still dont believe it
i have fed dear jelly beans and ritz crackers and peanuts but never have i fed one meat.
lastnight on outdoor channel a doe came in and licked the fresh blood off of an arrow. hadn't ever seen that. had them sniff at a pile, never eat it!!
Does anyone else notice that all these picture were take while snow is present on the ground? I agree with Yoda, it seems that when food is scarce in the winter deer along with almost anything else will eat whatever they can to survive.
It's not unheard of for animals known as herbivores to sometimes eat meat. Often times it occurs in the winter when food is scarce, alot of the time rodents in particular will canabalize one of their own. I had it happen to me with gerbils in a science lab over the summer.
I have seen deer over gut piles, never eating them, but sniffing around as if to say, "What the...?" Other hunters told me years ago to keep away from where a deer was killed but it never seemed to bother the deer. I have killed deer in almost the exact spot I killed on the day before. Even after more "experienced hunters" told me I would never see a deer. I don't know, I do not consider myself an expert, but fortunately none of the deer I have killed ever talked to the experts.
This young button buck was actually photographed trying to eat this dead rabbit. Researcher Pete Squibb says while the deer tried to puncture the body cavity, it never succeeded. Rather it consumed the dead rabbit’s legs and ears.
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