Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ask Othmar: Cattle and Deer

By Othmar Vohringer

Question: "Is it true that deer do not like to be around cattle?"

My Answer: Yes and no. I've hunted in areas where the deer didn't mind sharing the land with cattle. In fact I hunted on a property where the deer mingled with cattle and we always had to make sure that no cow was in the line of sight when we shot a deer.

When I moved to British Columbia I found a place that had a large deer population. Every time i scouted the area I saw lots of deer. Then when bowhunting season opened I didn't see a single deer. On the way out of the area I saw a herd of free ranging cattle but it didn't dawn at me that these cattle had anything to do with the vanishing deer until the day when the rancher herded the cows to a different place. Within two days of the cattle gone the deer came back.

I never have found an answer why in some areas deer and cattle seem to get along and in other areas deer move away when cattle are present. The only reasonable conclusion I can come up with is that perhaps in some areas food is plentiful available for both, while in others cattle may be in competition with the deer.

The only thing I can say for sure is that you need to observe deer and how they behave around cattle. Do they stay in the area or move off? And then adjust your tactics according to your observations.

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Othmar Vohringer Outdoors

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