As the breeding season nears for deer it is especially important to keep your dogs under control during your outdoor adventures and at home if you live in deer habitat. For pregnant does, conserving energy at this time of year is of utmost importance. Tremendous energy is required by wildlife to endure the cold of winter and for the development of the babies inside them. A hard run caused by a dog chase can cause exhaustion and result in the death of the animals.
Allowing your dogs to chase and harass wildlife is illegal, and dangerous for both dog and wildlife. Fines for allowing dogs to chase deer can range from $274 to $1000 depending on circumstances and severity of the outcome. All law enforcement officers are authorized to shoot dogs that are caught harassing wildlife.
Deer frequently break their legs during flight from predators such as dogs and are subsequently killed when they are unable to escape more lethal predators like mountain lions, coyotes and wolves. Wildlife encounters are also dangerous for dogs. A healthy deer can easily injure or kill a dog with its razor sharp hooves.
By being courteous and mindful of wildlife, dog owners can help everyone can enjoy the outdoors without unfortunate encounters. Anyone witnessing dogs harassing wildlife should contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife or local law enforcement personnel.