HomeOutdoorsNewsBuck Has Possible Seizure On-camera, Deer Biologist Weighs in

Buck Has Possible Seizure On-camera, Deer Biologist Weighs in

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Stan Tekiela Author / Naturalist / Wildlife Photographer

Earlier in November, the world was shocked after a viral clip showed what appeared to be a buck having a seizure. In the clip, posted to Instagram by Growing Deer TV, viewers see trail camera footage showing the deer working a scrape. 

In the video, you can see the animal working its head on an overhanging limb. Then, however, things suddenly change. The buck drops to the ground and has some type of episode— which many claimed was a seizure. At least, that’s what Grant Woods believes. Woods is a well-known whitetail deer biologist, habitat manager, and host of Growing Deer TV.

According to Woods, a man named John Gibbs sent him the footage and asked for his thought on the deer’s bizarre behavior. Unfortunately, there was no timestamp, and he did not reveal the camera’s location. 

“I’d never seen anything like it, but after talking back and forth, we think this buck had a seizure,” Woods said after reviewing the clip. 

According to Woods, a seizure seems to be the only reasonable explanation he can think of. “I’ve never heard of or seen anything like it. And not a mention from any of my colleagues about a buck acting like that,” he revealed. 

Woods later said that when a deer shows signs of a seizure, it’s likely not because the animal contracted chronic wasting disease (CWD) or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). In addition, he doesn’t believe the behavior was caused by something the deer ingested. He also notes that it’s likely that other deer in the area would have had seizures as well. At this time, Gibbs saw other deer in the area show signs of seizures. 

Biologist theorizes buck developed neurological condition which led to odd seizure

However, Gibbs also recorded more footage of the buck since he released the seizure video on Nov. 1. In later clips, viewers can see the same buck returning to the scrape. Yet, this time, he acts normal.

Then, after close inspection, Woods realized the deer was also missing an eye. It’s difficult to conclude if the deer was without the eye before the original video since it only shows viewers his right eye. However, if this were true, Woods believes this could be a clue to the reasoning behind the seizure. 

“I assume—and this is a total assumption—that he got in a fight [with another buck] and somehow got his eye knocked out,” Woods said. “And there was probably some neurological damage with that injury. We’re just piecing it together here and I need to make that clear, but I think it’s a pretty logical conclusion.”