SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) — Several homeowners in a Shakopee neighborhood east of the Stonebrook Golf Club have made a dear friend they never expected.
A young male deer has been approaching people, unafraid of human interaction.
Shannon Hoversten says she is used to seeing wildlife in her backyard. Her pen of chickens attracts foxes, possum and even the occasional deer.
But when her husband called her over to neighbor Todd Bennett’s house, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“It just didn’t seem like it was threatened or anything,” Hoversten said.
She says the buck moved from person to person, allowing people to pet its head and back.
Hoversten says there is often deer parked near a feeder in another neighbor’s backyard, but this was the closest encounter she’s ever had.
Bennett says he was tossing a football around with his son on the driveway when the deer creeped up from behind a tree, almost appearing out of nowhere.
“It was here for probably a good hour or better,” Bennett said.
In a cellphone video shot by Hoversten’s husband, the deer calmly approaches people. She says it willingly ate food out of their hands.
The buck, sporting about four points, did have a tendency though to rub its antlers against the men in the group, which was a bit concerning for Bennett.
“I’m thinking, ‘If something went wrong, he’d be a lot faster than anybody else!'” he said.
But laughter aside, both Bennett and Hoversten realize the deer’s behavior isn’t normal. They theorized that maybe it was raised at one point by people.
“I’m thinking someone at a very young age feeding it or something,” Bennett said.
The one question they have now is whether or not their friendly four-legged neighbor will stop by for another visit.
“I haven’t seen it since then, so I’m not sure if we’ll see it again,” Hoversten said.
Wildlife experts with the Minnesota department of natural resources say its likely the deer was raised by people — meaning it was either taken out of the wild as a fawn or escaped from a game farm.
They advise people to not approach deer acting this way and to call police.