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Postby JPH » Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:24 am

Last night I saw a really odd example of deer behavior and I was wondering if anyone might have an idea what it was.

A small yearling doe charged up a little CRP hillside behind my stand and stopped suddenly. She stood still for a few seconds then lowered her head an began coughing deeply. It sounded just like a cat with a hairball. I thought maybe she had been hit by an archer on the neighboring property, but she picked her head up and look around as if nothing had happened. She charged off, 30-40 yards and did it again, several times. As she ran, it looked like she was playing and she looked healthy, but I have never heard a deer cough like that.

Any ideas?

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RE: Hairball?

Postby Squirrelhawker » Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:52 am

Technically any mammal can form a hairball or "bezoar" but deer are not really known for it. Most of us have heard deer "cough" occassionally, as again they are mammals with similiar respiratory systems.
Their are also parasites of deer whose life cycle involves the airway. It sounds as if she was being pushed hard by something and being a small young deer maybe that's all it was.

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RE: Hairball?

Postby JPH » Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:00 am

ORIGINAL: Squirrelhawker

It sounds as if she was being pushed hard by something and being a small young deer maybe that's all it was.

That would make sense. There was a buck pushing does around in the area. Not hard chasing, but he was beginning to feel his oats. This may have stressed this little doe enough to irritate her upper airway for whatever reason.

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RE: Hairball?

Postby buckhunter21 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:57 am

You sure it was a deer and not an over-sized cat?  :)
On a serious note, I've never seen this.  I guess you learn something every time you go in the woods!

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RE: Hairball?

Postby boxcallkid » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:07 am

If this deer prior to being spooked or chased, Was bedded and relaxed, and in the process of chewing it's cudd, could easily ended up with a constricted airway!
I can't possibly prove it, but that would be my guess.
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

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RE: Hairball?

Postby msbadger » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:22 am

Boxcallkids on the right track with this...also if there is a problem with the bacteria and breakdown in the gut.... it can cause the regurgitation to be too much or wrong consistency..putting it very simply thus making it difficult to easily travel back to the mouth for further breakdown...

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RE: Hairball?

Postby bowman12 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:38 am

Wow, kind of a scary deal, what if it's tuberculosis. I sure hope not, and it probably isn't if the deer looked healthy other than that, but it's a lung disease and if she was recently infected she might not look that bad yet.

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RE: Hairball?

Postby scotman » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:02 pm

I wonder if it could be caused from cold air? I mean if you ever ran in the cold your body heats up and the cold air seems to burn your lungs causing you to cough.
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth

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RE: Hairball?

Postby shaman » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:45 am

I'm wondering, since you say it was a young deer, that possibly it ate something it shouldn't have and it was trying to get it up.  A young deer traveling alone, may have eaten the wrong berry or whatever and gotten itself in trouble. 

I'm just throwing out (or up) a different idea here.  I've certainly never seen such a thing.
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RE: Hairball?

Postby longbeards » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:53 pm

I've never heard a deer cough. While hunting, I've seen animals do some strange things though. Watched as two yearlings play hide and seek. Saw a yearling doe mount another doe. Watched a spike run into a tree after being spooked by a squirrel. He knocked himself out cold, slowly got up about 30 seconds later. I nick named him Tebow. I was in my climber one afternoon and a fox walked up to the base of the tree and sniffed my pull rope, then urinated on it. The next afternoon, same fox, same tree, same rope, more urine. Third afternoon, he came up, this time he starting biting on it, then rolled all over it. Need new rope.

rob (Roll Tide!!)

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