Fawn found in Invermere, B.C. (BC COS file photo)

Invermere resident and dog charged by protective doe

Fawning season in full swing right now; be careful when out walking

A local man and his dog were charged by a deer at Panorama Mountain Resort last week.

Blair Robinson and his dog Lexi were out for a walk on a trail they walk about five times a week. They crossed the bridge behind Panorama Springs, headed towards the bike cabin direction. Lexi, his almost 7-year old Golden Doodle, was on a leash. That in itself was unusual, said Mr. Robinson, and he cannot pinpoint why he had her leashed that day. They were beside a swath of greenery, between the fenced in pool and the magic carpet. Suddenly, a deer charged them, with no indication a second before there was anything nearby.

The doe came to within a few feet of Mr. Robinson and Lexi, rearing up on her hind legs and pawing at the air to Mr. Robinson. To the dog. Back and forth, relentless in her aggressive charge. The deer was not touching them but coming near with her sharp hooves waving in the air.

It happened so quickly, and the deer charged so fast, Mr. Robinson did not have time to think. Only react.

“I was backing up. I was zigging, I was zagging. The deer was relentless,” he says. “It was terrifying.”

Then, to add to the tension, a fawn began heading towards them. Mr. Robinson’s adrenaline was through the roof, and he didn’t want to hurt the deer as he knew that she was only following her instinct to protect her young. He alternated trying to back up the hill or down towards the bike shop, but the deer pushed forward in either direction.

“All of a sudden, these three heroes on bikes showed up,” he says. The bikers put themselves between Mr. Robinson and the deer, forming a bike wall to allow him to escape. He backed up, thanking the riders profusely as he made his escape.

Mrs. Robinson is very grateful for the three men that put themselves in harm’s way to give him a safe way out of the situation. He had no way to track down who the riders were, so posted a cheers on a local Facebook group.

“Massive cheers and thanks so much to the three Panorama mountain bikers who came over to save my dog and me from a terrifying and sustained attack by a doe protecting her fawn. We hadn’t seen the deer until the doe rushed us and was relentless,” he wrote.

Mr. Robinson was so shaken, he can’t say for sure what happened next, but said several people below appear to have been watching the interaction underway. One was an employee at Panorama who had been heading towards Mr. Robinson at the time of the attack. The employee made sure Mr. Robinson was OK, and advised him that that this time of year, carrying a big stick would probably help ward off future attacks.

While shaken from the incident, Mr. Robinson said it doesn’t change his love of the outdoors, and he certainly does not fault the deer for acting out of instinct. He did say it changes how he will walk though, and he plans to carry a stick around this time of year when out walking his dog.

“I’ve always been cautious. But I’ve got a more respectful attitude to keeping distance from deer at this time of year,” he says. Though in this case, he noted, he walks that trail often and had never had a run-in with a deer there before.

“I couldn’t have done anything differently, because it happened so quickly, I just reacted,” he says.

For any aggressive wildlife encounters, please call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-97277.

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