Passers-by rescue women from mule deer attack near Preston, Idaho

Two injured in what could have been fatal attack on road between local cornfields-

Although most wild animal attack accounts seem to involve bears, autumn is a time when the behavior of male deer, elk and moose can become problematic.

A resident of Whitney, Idaho, which is just southeast of Preston and near the Utah border, was directly approached and attacked between corn fields on a rural road near her home on Oct. 2. Luckily, passers-by (strangers) in a vehicle ended the attack, but not easily, nor without injury to one of the rescuers.

Here is the story as released by Idaho Fish and Game is told in this Idaho State Journal article. Mule deer attacks woman near Preston.

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Update 10/27/2011

A friend of ours who was once attacked by a deer and nearly killed, interviewed the woman (Sue Panter of Whitney) was attacked by the mule deer buck in the cornfields near  Whitney.  She also talked to the man with the truck (Michael Vaughan) who came to her rescue. She didn’t talk with his daughter, Alexis. The man said all three of them could have been killed by this deer. He bled profusely from his antler wounds. His daughter drove the deer off by repeatedly hitting the deer in the head with a hammer.

After leaving the immediate scene of its attack, the deer attacked a man driving a tractor. He protected himself by closing the tractor door. The deer punctured a tire before it left. The strangely enraged buck has never been identified.






  1. Ken Cole Avatar

    Must have been one of those larger, viscous Canadian deer 😉

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    The political lesson to take away from this, IMO, is that deer attacks on people are far, far more common than wolf attacks, yet where is the socially generated fear? Which species?

    1. catbestland Avatar

      There are more cow attacks on people than there are wolf attacks on people. In fact I think that cows are too dangerous to let roam unattended on our public lands.

  3. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    Seven wolves that were killed near Elk City underwent necropsy at WSC. Their average weights were 70.43 pounds which is about 30 pounds less than those viscous ones released.

  4. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Mule deer are dangerous during the rut. I photographed a herd or five or six large bucks during the rut one fall and was impressed with how dangerous they were to each other. One buck lost an eye. The largest got stabbed in the rump so deeply (at least six inches deep) that he had a hard time walking afterward. I saw one get rolled completely over by another buck when it lost its’ footing. Most of them sustained wounds to their faces. The speed at which they could charge each other was incredible. The dominant bucks followed the other’s tracks in the snow like bloodhounds and attempted to gore the smaller bucks after tracking them down. When the bucks approached each other, they would lower their ears, wrinkle their noses, and make a strange threatening sound. They were quick to try to injure another buck if it turned just enough to make itself vulnerable.
    I kept my bear spray ready for use, stayed in the trees, and never turned my back on any of them.

  5. Ken Cole Avatar

    This reminds me of a story I heard when I was a kid from someone who lived near Palisades Reservoir on the Idaho/Wyoming border. One fall they had a big bull elk bugling near their house and they went outside to photograph it. The bull didn’t like that and chased him back to his front door, knocking him down once on the way. He was lucky he wasn’t injured but it sure scared the crap out of him.

    1. WM Avatar

      Adds new meaning to the term “all horned up,” doesn’t it.? LOL

  6. wolf moderate Avatar
    wolf moderate

    We used to visit Wallowa Lake as a kid every August. We would feed huge 5 point bucks and even laid next to one once. The does were the only ones to ever kick us. I wouldn’t do it in November during the rut though.

    I highly recommend the lake for family vacations.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    Note: I updated this deer attack story.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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