University Community

Interacting with deer on campus

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

While our animal friends certainly add charm to our campus environment, students, faculty, and staff should be aware of safety guidelines when interacting with wildlife. 

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), deer are highly active during the months of October and November because it’s 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 try and stay at least 30 feet away from them. If a deer is blocking your path, try to pass them as far away and quickly as possible.”

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

Keller said, 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.”

October 28, 2021
Staff reports