Earlier this month, the Instagram account ‘Growing Deer TV’ shared a clip from a trail cam showing a buck having what appears to be a seizure. In the video, viewers can see the deer lifting its head to get closer to an overhanging limb. Then, the buck suddenly falls to the ground and starts shaking.
According to Grant Woods, a well-respected whitetail biologist, habitat manager, and the host of Growing Deer TV, the buck was indeed having a seizure.
Woods said that a viewer named John Gibbs sent him the footage from the trail camera and wanted his opinion. However, unfortunately, the video does not have a timestamp. Gibbs also chose not to share the location of the video.
“I’d never seen anything like it, but after talking back and forth we think this buck had a seizure,” Woods said, adding that he can’t think of any other possible theory. “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.”
Woods also explained that seizures in deer are not a symptom of chronic wasting disease (CWD) or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).
In addition, he doesn’t believe the deer suffered the seizure due to something it ate. He added that other deer in the area would have had a similar reaction if that were the case. Additionally, Gibbs also said he hadn’t seen any proof of this.
Yet, Gibbs said there is additional footage of the buck since the account shared the seizure video on Nov. 1.
In it, the buck returns to the exact location and seems completely normal. However, when Gibbs and Woods took a closer look, they noticed that the buck was missing an eye.
Buck breaks into Wisconsin home, traps itself for three hours
However, it’s difficult to say if the deer lost the eye before the seizure video since viewers can only see the buck’s right side. Yet, if this was true, Woods thinks it might explain the odd behavior.
“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.”
There’s no doubt that deer can be wildly unpredictable in their behavior. Recently, a Wisconsin couple found this out the hard way after an adult deer shattered a glass door and thrashed itself into their home.
The couple, Sue and Richard Sujecki, were at home when they heard a loud crash. They then discovered that a deer had broken through their glass storm door.
The deer ran up the stairs, trying to find an exit. Reportedly, the deer was trapped for about three hours. Finally, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources personnel arrived to rescue the deer.