LOSTINE — A six-by-six-point mule deer buck threatened and attacked three people at a Lostine home Tuesday, Nov. 9, injuring all three before it was put down by Wallowa County Sheriff Joel Fish.
“It happened so fast, and it was terrifying,” said Carolyn Lochert on Monday, Nov. 22, at whose home the incident occurred.
Lochert had been on her porch when the buck arrived.
“It was in my front yard facing up against the shrubs and breaking them off,” she said. “I yelled at and it came over to me. He wasn’t afraid of me at all. It seemed like he was following the sound of my voice. … I’ve learned that when bucks (are) in rut, they don’t act normal.”
She said after about 20 minutes, friends Laura Skovlin and Brian Oliver arrived to take her to a planned gathering in Wallowa. They saw the buck and tried to help Lochert chase it off.
“It attacked her,” Lochert said. “It’s just kind of a blur. I’ve tried to recreate (it) many times.”
She said all three of them were injured by the buck, mostly with puncture wounds, scrapes and bruises. Skovlin and Oliver both went to the hospital after the incident.
“We all got punctured,” Lochert said. “Brian got the worst of it. He had to get stitches for one of the wounds which was inches away from his femoral artery.”
Sheriff Fish and an Oregon State Police trooper were first on the scene. Fish said he was given authorization by Bree Furfey of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to dispatch the deer.
“It had them pinned up on the porch when I got there,” Fish said. “Bree said there was a deer attacking people and said if I got there before her, go ahead and shoot it.”
He brought the deer down with his revolver at about 15 yards. He and Lochert both said there didn’t appear to be other deer in the vicinity. Lochert said the OSP trooper also shot the buck.
Fish said he had to give first aid to Oliver.
He said Furfey took custody of the carcass and was going to take it for testing. He wasn’t sure just what it would be tested for.
Furfey was unavailable for comment Monday.
Lochert said Monday she still hadn’t heard any results of the testing.
She said in retrospect, “He seemed a little sickly. … He might’ve been tired from fighting other bucks as his hindquarters seemed shaky.”
Even though wild animals are common in Wallowa County, Lochert agreed people need to remember they are, in fact, wild.
“It’s about how dangerous how these animals are, especially when they’re in rut,” she said.