Deer Attacks Woman Helping Young Fawn on Weed Street


A doe pummeled a New Canaan woman Tuesday morning as she helped free the animal’s fawn after it got stuck in a gate on Weed Street, officials say.

The woman, who is in her 70s, suffered cuts and bruises on her legs and back during the harrowing incident, according to Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm.

“She went out, saw it wedged, she went to open the gate so the animal could get out and no sooner could she do that than she turned and the deer was on her,” Halm said.

“She thought she was going to be killed,” Halm added.

The attack, which unfolded opposite Irwin Park, comes exactly one year after officials were forced to close a walking trail in the woods between Irwin and the New Canaan Nature Center because of similar deer attacks.

Halm, who is nearing retirement, said she her successor as animal control officer for New Canaan, Sean Godejohn, suspect the attacking deer could be the same one from last year.

“Sean made an interesting comment that most of our wildlife has a flight drive and this particular one seems to have a fight drive,” Halm said.

In 20 years working in animal control, Halm said she’s never seen such aggressive back-to-back years of deer attacks in the same area.

According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, female white-tailed deer weigh 110 pounds on average. Fawns weighing four to eight pounds are typically born in June, according to DEEP.

The very small fawn involved in Tuesday’s incident was successfully dislodged by the woman, crying out as it was freed before its unseen mother suddenly appeared and attacked.

Halm noted that her department has received numerous calls recently from people who spot fawns alone on their properties and assume, incorrectly, that the animals are injured, sick or abandoned. 

“They are hardwired to lie still and remain where mom left them, and they are odorless to protect them from predators,” Halm said. “Mom will return. We encourage people to give it 24 hours and if the animal is still there or showing signs of distress—crying, flies around it—then we will interfere. But we really want to wait for that 24-hour period.” 

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