Wherein Fr. Z advocates the killing of cute animals

I see deer as a) supper and gloves, or b) lethal motorist pests, or c) rats with hooves.

Deer invade urban areas and they can be dangerous.  Hit a deer on the interstate with your car at 65 mph sometime and see what happens.

Here is a video which underscores the point for those who think they are soooo cuuuuute.

Starts out sort of cute, this video does.  Then it goes south.

As you watch the doe and the dog sweetly frolic together, in your mind’s eye substitute that dog with your toddler.


Reason #4 for an adequate hunting season.

And, just for kicks, Reason #73678102 for Summorum Pontificum.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. APX says:

    At the same time, this goes down to responsible pet ownership. I’ve had three dogs (Rottweilers). I didn’t let them run outside in the front off leash, and they knew better than to run out of the house.

    I think the same can be said for parenting. I see it all the time in the church parking lot. Parents let their children run around, and without watching, their little bundles of joy run out into the parking lot.

    That said, people must be educated to understand that Bambi is a wild animal, and as such is unpredictable, even moreso when a fawn is in the picture.

    And then there are squirrels…

  2. dep says:

    Deer belong in the woods. But though once deer hunting involved skill it can now be practiced in many places with a golf club. That is because we killed all the predators. Which we have introduced only to have them discover that chickens and calves are easier prey than deer are — because wolves and cougars don’t have golf clubs, maybe (well, the four-footed ones, anyway) — and so we have deer and coyotes in our urban and suburban neighborhoods, and both have become very dangerous. Guess what? God got it right first time around, and our efforts to improve things have failed.

    Reminds me of the old song, There was an environmentalist who swallowed a fly . . .

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  4. wmeyer says:

    “But though once deer hunting involved skill it can now be practiced in many places with a golf club.”

    On the other hand, on Pebble Beach golf course, the deer stand around watching the golfers. I am convinced they know they are protected, and that if the golfers even try to shoo them, the golfers are subject to fines or worse.

    This society is cuckoo about wildlife, protecting even vermin, in preference to humans. And don’t even get me started on the water war over the use of the Chattahoochee River.

  5. Good Video, and a good illustration of why, when walking with my children on the trails through the woods and fields in my deer – infested neighborhood, I almost always carry my Makarov. I would consider myself a negligent parent were I to do otherwise.

    Rats with Hooves! I like that, Father.

  6. James Joseph says:

    Yes, deer can kill. Many a man has been gored to death.

  7. pledbet424 says:

    Reminds me of the time a wild squirrel wandered into my bread delivery truck. Replace dog with myself, and deer becomes squirrel.

  8. majuscule says:

    My inlaws raised an orphan deer. I’m told he was really cute until he started going after people like the one in the video went after the dog.

  9. MarylandBill says:

    I have no problem with hunting deer… though more does need to be taken. The big problem is that the populations are the most over crowded where hunting is the least practical, in suburban neighborhoods. I think for the most part we can probably agree that hunting deer with high powered rifles is probably not a good idea in a neighborhood.

    At the same time, I get annoyed at people who seem to think that shooting the animals is some less humane than letting them starve to death or get hit by cars. In Washington DC’s Rock Creek park, there was even a movement to use contraceptives to control the deer population! Besides it being a method that will take years to bring the population down, it seems rather costly compared to the price of a rifle bullet.

  10. mattg says:

    As Canadian conservative blogger Kate McMillan of smalldeadanimals is fond of saying: “How many deaths is Walt Disney responsible for worldwide?”

    The anthropomorphization of animals and the de-humanizing of humans is a serious problem in our society. I believe it is part and parcel of the Marxist project. It is one of many tactics used to break down the dignity of the human person.

  11. Mike says:

    I’ve hunted deer with bow, shotgun, rifle, and blackpowder. They are amazing animals–in their place–the woods, the freezer, my plate.

  12. anachy says:

    Fr. Z., in this instance, I would kill not only the doe but the fawn, for good measure. Reason # 5,034 to always have a firearm to hand. This video upset me so much that I wish I had not seen it. That poor dog. My dog is much bigger than the one taking a beating from that doe, but even my dog could be badly injured in such an encounter. One can readily find videos online of does attacking people (even students on college campuses). Hoofed animals of all kinds can badly injure and even kill people by striking with their hoofed forelegs. There are times when deer (and other ungulates) get a bit loopy (during the rut, for instance) and one cannot always predict how they will behave. With mother deer, though, it is a certainty that they will be aggressive when their fawns are close by. I have seen film of mother elks, too, attacking even grizzly bears when their young are at risk. I love all kinds of animals, both wild and domestic, but wild animals should never be comfortable living around humans; it’s dangerous for people, for domestic animals, and for the wild animals themselves. (And not related to the deer per se, but has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a trend of people filming horrors as they unfold rather than putting down the camera to help? What’s up with that?)

  13. ejcmartin says:

    We have no deer in Newfoundland. The only native species is caribou which tend to stay away from urban and suburban areas. We do however have moose which are a bigger hazard (1,000+ lbs coming through the windshield) which were introduced 100 years ago. This video was taken with a security camera Monday night. Moose burglars.


  14. NickD says:

    Reason #394 for CCW? :)

  15. everett says:

    Animals such as deer (and moose, caribou, etc) are wonderful, where they belong (in the wild, or in your freezer). Outside of that, they can be a real hazard, both as far as safety, as seen here, and of course as far as destroying gardens.

  16. jpii_rox says:

    As someone that raises livestock (mainly sheep), it never ceases to impress me how a ewe will stomp her feet at me whenever I come near her lamb considering this ewe’s only experience with lambs was when she was one herself. To me this instinctual behavior of these ewes and does is particularly refreshing given the generally lousy human mothers that effectively could give a rip about their own kids to the point of killing them in the womb.

  17. Geoffrey says:

    What a horrible video. I would venture to say there is something about the maternal instinct involved here… and stupidity on the part of the people filming. Blame not the doe for protecting her fawn.

    wmeyer said: “On the other hand, on Pebble Beach golf course, the deer stand around watching the golfers. I am convinced they know they are protected, and that if the golfers even try to shoo them, the golfers are subject to fines or worse”.

    That is where I live, on the Monterey Peninsula, and after 20 years, I have never heard of any local deer doing anything even remotely like what is happening in this video. Almost every day we have deer in our yard, neighborhood, etc. They are never a problem. This video highlights human stupidity. Even with our local deer as tame as they are, I would never be so foolish as to allow one of our dogs off their leash around them. Common sense, people.

  18. I was distracted by the kitty…who did smacked the doe and ran…but yes, Bambi’s dangerous

  19. Woody79 says:

    And the answer to the question continues: Which is smarter, the cat or the dog?

  20. JamesA says:

    I am by no means a treehugger or a PETA person, but I suppose I must disagree at least once in my life with the Z-meister.
    My sympathies here are with the deer. She’s only trying to protect her baby, which had apparently wandered away from her somehow. This is what animals DO. It is beautiful to see the maternal instinct at work, especially when our culture of death is busy snuffing it out in humans. What I don’t understand is why the the dog didn’t just run like hell. And what was with the cat ? What was so fascinating ? I guess it had never seen a deer before.
    At any rate, with all due respect, deer are not a type of rat. They are beautiful creatures and should be hunted humanely and treated with care.

  21. nykash says:

    Father, you forgot one option at the top of your post:

    d) Tasty

  22. nykash says:

    D’oh. Supper and tasty are not mutually exclusive.

    This is why I shouldn’t comment while on a call. Sorry all.

  23. rollingrj says:

    “I have no problem with hunting deer… though more does need to be taken. The big problem is that the populations are the most over crowded where hunting is the least practical, in suburban neighborhoods. I think for the most part we can probably agree that hunting deer with high powered rifles is probably not a good idea in a neighborhood.”

    An excellent solution was implemented in Mankato, MN a few years ago, where a large park is a haven to the creatures. City fathers gave permits to cull the herd to bow hunters only, and then only those who displayed proven, exceptional marksmanship, as this park also has a walking path for humans. (There were probably other conditions; I just can’t recall them.) It worked well.

  24. george says:

    If I were to hazard a guess, the cat was fascinated by the fact that it had encountered a living critter which had no scent. She smelled it over and over and found nothing. She didn’t know what it was, probably.

    Out here in mid-Michigan we often refer to the Whitetail as “antlered rats”, too… :)

  25. MAJ Tony says:

    Actually, as far as weapon of choice for hunting deer in urban or suburban areas, ANY weapon in the hands of a less-than-stellar marksman and one evidencing poor shot selection and sense of mind is a dicey proposition. A properly sighted high-powered rifle may actually be the best bet, with the right bullet combination, as modern hunting ammunition will exand on impact with the animal, expending all of it’s energy on the beast, and not go flying out the other side with great velocity. Even that shouldn’t be a huge SAFETY concern if you’re shooting from an elevated position at close enough range using round- or flat-nosed bullets (and not spire/spitzer points) to prevent ricochette. I wouldn’t be afraid (as far as safety goes) to take a clean shot at a deer standing (or at least not spooked) in the grassy back yard from a second story window, but I don’t think that either the neighbors or the city police (if you are within the city limits) would take too kindly to doing so. BLUF, keep it legal, safe, and no surprises for the neighbors.

  26. acardnal says:

    I love animals. They’re very tasty.

    Good example why there are ordinances in many communities for dogs – and cats,too – to be on a leash under the owner’s control when outside! Of course, pet owner’s usual refrain is “my dog is so gentle and kind he wouldn’t hurt anyone” and then he jumps up and bites you. When you let domesticated animals loose in the neighborhood, their owners should expect bad things to happen.

  27. dirtycopper says:

    On behalf of my belaeagured Traffic Bureau I endorse description C. We have more vehicle versus deer accidents per month than you can shake a stick at. As the old saying goes there is room for all of God’s creatures [on a plate next to the gravy and mashed potatoes].

  28. trad catholic mom says:

    Well it’s natures plan that mothers protect their young.

    The cat was cracking me up though.

  29. RobW says:

    Really crazy that I saw this video today. I live in the mountains of south western Virginia and have alot of deer in the area. Today I saw 2 fawns chasing each other in circles on my lawn today…then I looked off to the side and there was mama standing in the shade watching. Then two bigger deer came from the right and chased mama and fawns into the woods. I laughed at the scene but this video made me think what would have happened if my hound was outside at the time. Might have to replace the buck shot with a slug for the first shot in my 12ga pump.

  30. Kathleen10 says:

    I can’t fault the doe protecting her beautiful baby. In the back of my Mom’s house we watched the deer for many years. We got to see them up close, and we considered it a treat, except for the deer tick they inevitably carry in our part of the world. They are naturally timid animals, and will act like bear and avoid you like the plague if they can. Like all wild animals if it is rutting season or there is a baby, they can be unpredictable, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable out in the woods with them, but then I’m on their turf.
    Their graceful bodies and ways are beautiful to watch. The delicate legs, like a wonderful racehorse, and well, that face. When they pick their heads up and look straight at you, I can’t see anything else but beauty. Like others said, I wish human mothers would be so devoted to their babies. And yes, people are stupid to let a dog get so near a wild creature.
    The older I get, the more life is precious to me, but I get deer hunting, I do. If you are going to eat an animal, then humanely hunt it. I don’t agree with bow hunting because it’s not quick unless you are an expert, and how many are. I have heard of deer escaping with an arrow sticking out of them. To me that is pointless and I personally wish people wouldn’t do it.

  31. RobW says:

    Hunters should definitely have the skills to cleanly kill an animal but even shooting a deer with a rifle doesnt mean the animal drops dead on the spot. Hunting a deer with a bow at the correct range, with the right skill and equipment is humane and animals have been taken like this for thousands of years. If I were a deer Id much rather be shot with a compound bow than get hit by a car and lay on the side of the road crippled until the coyotes came to slowly put me out of my misery.

  32. David in T.O. says:

    Marv Newland had it right.


  33. jflare says:

    Uh folks, if you want to declare that the doe was defending the fawn, well.. the dog was protecting the property. I get it fine about how the doe didn’t “get it” about private property vs public, but the dog likely DID. Besides, the doe and the fawn shouldn’t have been in that kind of locale in the first place.

    I’d say this would be a great example of how one could be well served by having a 9 mil handy. Sure, you’d need to move close in and probably use several shots, but it’d be more effective than simply standing by and screaming….

  34. APX says:


    That’s why (at least in Canada) if you hit an animal on the highway and it doesn’t die, or you’re not sure, you’re supposed to call either the RCMP or the Conservation Officer and they’ll take care of it. The RCMP are required to document and publicly publish every use of their gun/Taser. The vast majority of gun usage are euthanatizing animals.

    I actually saw a deer get creamed by a truck on the highway. It was possibly one of the most traumatic things I’ve seen. Its neck literally snapped back as it plummeted into the snow. The truck that hit it didn’t even stopped. I was pretty sure it died instantly when it’s neck snapped, but I was tempted to call the Mounties just in case.

  35. ” has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a trend of people filming horrors as they unfold rather than putting down the camera to help?”

    Exactly. I would like to know why the hell these people didn’t go running at the deer to stop him. I heard a lot of useless screaming in the background, while a poor dog was being stomped nearly to death. What is wrong with people??

  36. MacBride says:

    People should not feed deer(and they do in many suburban areas) and Dogs belong on leashes.

  37. De Tribulis says:

    “As you watch the doe and the dog sweetly frolic together, in your mind’s eye substitute that dog with your toddler.”

    “Your toddler” is at considerably greater risk of being savaged by a free-running dog than of being injured by a deer. If that dog’s owners had been behaving responsibly by keeping it on a leash, this incident wouldn’t have happened.

    Btw, I have no objections to deer culling, but “rats with hooves”? Why this singular animus against deer?

  38. DeTribulis: why the animus? Perhaps after you’ve had to spend multiple thousands of dollars to repair the damage striking one has caused your car, or almost been decapitated by their hooves coming through the windshield, the spreading of diseases (deer tick-borne Lyme Disease? Who do you think is the vector? The tick or the deer?) , destruction of crops, and an additional vector for Rabies here in the NE..you’d understand the animus (and Disney with their fetishistic devotion to animals versus humans is way up there too…).

    Rats with hooves is right. Around here, they’re also called “Large Woodland Rodents”. They aren’t cute, they aren’t cuddly, they aren’t friendly, and they are destructive. But they do taste good in a find white wine reduction with some fresh steamed fall-ish veggies on the side.

    Or, a good slow-cooked stew in a crockpot. As many and as often as possible.

  39. AvantiBev says:

    Hey if Catholic and other American women were as aggresive in protecting THEIR young as this doe is protecting her fawn, we wouldn’t have any “Doctor” Gosnell clinics. I am a dog lover a real “dog-ma” but this deer thought that the cat and the dog were getting too close to her fawn; she saw them as predators. I am sure the idiot with the camera and the idiot screaming for her dog (instead of getting her butt in there and beating the deer off) were also to blame for mom’s agitated state.

  40. MAJ Tony says:

    Deer are BEAUTIFUL animals, UNTIL THEY’RE NOT. Every time I drive I-64 in Southern Indiana, there’s a HUGE bloodstain where one got creamed by a semi. In some areas on I-64, that’s a potentially fatal accident due to the terrain alone, should the driver lose control.

    Deer shot with a bow at close range often have the arrow run clean through. A compound bow is an effective weapon at 30 yards. I grew up in Warrick Co. Indiana, which is a huge bowhunting area, due to all the old strip mines surrounded by corn fields. BTW, that’s two counties east of where HE the Bishop of Cheyenne, +Paul Etienne, grew up, and one county east of St. Meinrad Archabbey.

  41. Jeannie_C says:

    We’ve had cats for years. Watching the beginning of the video, I can assure you that cat was in a predatory mode – it wasn’t sniffing trying to figure it out, it was trying to figure out where to give the killing bite. Cats will kill and eat rabbits and hares which are often the same size as they are. The deer didn’t belong in the area where it found itself and should have been run off. Where I live deer and elk are hazards, as are bears and cougars, and are to be avoided at all costs due to the threat they pose to human life. If they come into contact with humans and return due to habituation they have to be destroyed humanely.

  42. anachy says:

    I notice that several people seem to be blaming the dog’s stomping on the fact that the dog was not on a leash. You will find no stronger advocate of responsible dog ownership than I. That being said, Fr. Z was right to ask what would have happened had a child rather than a dog been standing on that sidewalk. Did you not notice that the dog was nowhere near the fawn when the doe ran down the street to attack it? Had that been a child rather than a dog, particularly a child acting excited to see the deer, the child would have gotten the very same treatment as the dog did. That dog was not menacing anyone or anything when the deer spotted the dog and went after it. It was attacked because it was there. For a number of years now there have been growing conflicts between human populations and wildlife, and it really isn’t caused by lack of leashes on dogs. I reiterate my earlier point, and concur with those who also said that it is a very, very bad idea for wild animals to habituate to human environments.

  43. RobW says:


    “That’s why (at least in Canada) if you hit an animal on the highway and it doesn’t die, or you’re not sure, you’re supposed to call either the RCMP or the Conservation Officer”…well people dont always do what their suppose to do…many deer that get hit stagger off into the woods, where the coyotes will still get their dinner. And in the U.S. people with a clean rap sheet can carry a gun conceiled. If I hit a deer Ill take care of it myself.

  44. RobW says:

    …Id take care of it myself where I live (the mountains), of course if I injured a deer in a populated area Id call the authorities.

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