What Eats a Deer?

Animals that prey on deer include bobcats, cougars, coyotes, wolves and grizzly bears. Specific predators depend on the habitat and type of deer. For instance, Florida panthers prey on Key deer, animals that live only in the Florida Keys.

Not only are panthers are threat to Key deer, but so are large pythons and humans. Pythons are particularly problematic for the dwindling Key deer population because they are a nonnative, invasive species, and the deer have no adaptations against the pythons' predation. Although the Key deer are endangered and can't be legally hunted by humans, habitat loss due to humans is a problem for the deer population.

Mule deer that range throughout Minnesota are hunted by wolves, bobcats, cougars and coyotes, animals that are also native to the area. Even grizzly and black bears feed on deer if given the opportunity. Wolves present only a small danger to mule deer populations, as their victims are generally diseased or old.

The white-tailed deer of Texas and the southern United States face predation by wild dogs, coyotes and cougars. This deer is plentiful in some states, such as Texas, especially in suburban areas where there are fewer predators. Humans also hunt white-tailed deer, although hunting restrictions vary depending on location.