The Town of Okotoks is reminding residents to be careful around deer, especially at this time of year.

On June 17th, the Town of Okotoks to social media to warn residents of an aggressive deer in the Westmount Storm Pond Park area of town.

Town of Okotoks Urban Parks Technician Gordon White says there have already been three incidents involving aggressive deer.

"One was in the Tucker Parkway, the cemetery, and along the river path at Hunters Crescent," explains White. "Which are places that, in the past, have been common to see aggressive deer in those areas. It appears as though they use the same area to raise their young year after year, because these locations, for the last few years, have had reports of aggressive deer."

White says that almost all of the reports they get about aggressive deer concern female deer protecting their fawns.

"It's a natural instinct, and almost all the reports of the aggressive deer are with people with dogs. So, dogs look like more of a natural predator, so that triggers their defense response. Typically, it's does protecting fawns and dogs that go by get their attention and might trigger an aggressive response," White says.

An aggressive deer, according to White, generally will have its ears back, may walk towards the person, and possibly stomp their feet.

White adds that deer will sometimes do a bluff charge, similar to what bears are known to do.

"They'll pretend to charge, and they'll get halfway and then stop. It's horribly frightening, I'm sure, but most often they stop before they actually start trying to defend themselves," White says.

He recalls an incident from last year of a resident being injured while defending their dog from a deer.

"Had they not got into the middle of that, they probably wouldn't have got injured. But, that was a unique case."

White says that over the last few years, the Town had received between a dozen and two dozen calls a year about aggressive deer, and they all were over a two-month period in the early summer.

In order to help minimize the risk of encountering aggressive deer, the Town wants residents to stop feeding the deer.

"If people are feeding them, then if they're not getting feed regularly, they could get kind of edgy or anxious and not finding what they're looking for. That is one thing that we absolutely do not do, is feed the deer, be it intentionally or unintentionally"

It's suggested to keep bird feeders at least eight feet from the ground so the deer can't reach them, and to clean up any spilled bird seeds that could attract deer to the yard.

Deer should be given as much space as possible, especially if there is a fawn in the vicinity.

White also suggests keeping dogs on leash, because if they go after a deer, they will be taken as a threat and the deer may attack the dog as a result.

He also suggests walking in groups, as a group of people may come off as intimidating to a deer, which could keep them away, and to avoid areas where there is a higher population of deer.

To learn more about urban deer in Okotoks, head over to their website.