University Community

Interacting with deer on OHIO’s campuses

Ohio University is the home of one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Along with iconic brick pathways and towering elms, our campuses are also home to an active wildlife population, including birds, squirrels and deer.

While our animal friends certainly add charm to the scenic campus, OHIO students, faculty and staff should be aware of safety guidelines when interacting with wildlife on our campuses. This is true for all times of the year, but especially during the fall.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), deer are highly active during the months of October and November because it is their breeding season.  

“While deer mostly appear to be gentle animals, you have to remember that they are wild creatures that can be unpredictable,” Environmental Health Coordinator Chad Keller said. “Students, faculty and staff should always keep their distance from them and be aware of their activity. If a deer is blocking your path, we recommend you simply try to pass them as far away and as quickly as possible.”

The ODNR says that if deer feel threatened, they can easily cause harm to humans or pets. If you notice a deer approaching you, while also making grunting noises or stomping its feet, the ODNR advises that you make noise and wave your hands so the deer knows you are there.

Keller added that  people should avoid the temptation to take a selfie or try to engage with deer.

“Like all wildlife, deer are best observed at a distance,” he said. “Don't feed them or try to interfere with their behaviors in any way.”

November 7, 2023
Staff reports