Do raccoons eat deer?

When food is scarce, raccoons will prey on other animals, raccoons will even go as far as preying on animals like cats and dogs if they can find and kill them. Larger cats and dogs may give the raccoon a bit of trouble but raccoons will eat smaller cat and dog varieties. Raccoons are also happy to eat a variety of other animals, but how about larger animals like deer? Do raccoons eat deer? This article looks into it 

Raccoons do not eat deer, raccoons eat a variety of animals but they will only hunt and kill animals that are much smaller than them, they will not eat any animals that are more than half of their size and they will not eat deer, even if it’s necessary for survival. 

Do raccoons eat deer?

Raccoons are quite capable hunters, they hunt easy prey like insects, and they will also hunt larger animals like birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. They are happy to eat both plant matter and animal matter, they are omnivores.

However, they will more than likely not eat larger animals like deer. Raccoons don’t eat animals that are of a similar size to them or larger. Raccoons hunting deer, even if it’s a matter of survival, is very unlikely. 

Raccoons are hunters of convenience, a deer is too large for a raccoon to hunt.

Raccoons do not attack animals that are larger than them in size because larger animals are likely predators, in addition, larger animals will usually be able to defend themselves against raccoons.

A raccoon will not go out of its way to hunt prey, it will choose the prey of least resistance. 

Smaller predators, like hyenas, will hunt in packs, hunting in packs enables hyenas to take down large animals. Hunting in packs is not something that raccoons do, they do not have the social expertise to do this.

Raccoons generally keep to themselves and are not social creatures. Because they hunt as individuals, they can only hunt small prey.

Raccoons prefer to eat food that offers little to no resistance to being eaten, this includes insects, smaller animals, and plants. Raccoons are lazy omnivores and prefer to conserve energy when looking for food. 

Although raccoons don’t hunt and eat deer, these small mammals will certainly eat the same foods that deer eat. Both of these animals will raid your garden and crop farms looking for easy to access foods like corn, persimmons, and blackberries.

If you find that raccoons seem to frequent your property when deer do, they may simply be eating the same foods, raccoons may also be attracted to your deer feeders. 

Do raccoons eat baby deer?

Baby deer are much easier to prey on than adult deer, they are much smaller and will take less effort to take down. It is possible for a raccoon to prey on a fawn but the likelihood of these animals actually doing this is low. 

However, size can affect whether a raccoon will attack a fawn. Large male raccoons have a good chance of attacking and killing a baby deer, these males can weigh in excess of twenty pounds. Some fawns will weigh about six pounds.

If these two animals come into contact with one another, then the raccoon will likely try to make a meal out of the smaller animal.

Not only will the raccoon have a size advantage, but the raccoon will also have the added advantage of having very sharp, strong, and long claws and teeth which can easily tear into the fawn’s body.

What do raccoons kill and eat?

Raccoons need to eat meat in order to maintain good health. Plants cannot offer the raccoon all the vitamins and minerals that the animal needs, thus, these animals will go out and look for meat. Animals that raccoons kill and eat include: 

Marine life: Raccoons eat a variety of fish and other animals that live in water bodies. Raccoons enjoy water, they will live close to water bodies in order to have access to water and the animals in it. Thus, raccoons will eat foods like crayfish, clams, and fish

Snails, slugs, earthworms: Raccoons enjoy eating insects, in fact, insects make up a large part of the raccoon diet. These mammals enjoy eating smaller slow insects because they are easy to catch and won’t put up much of a fight when caught and eaten. 

Snakes and other reptiles: These animals are larger than insects and make a much more satisfying meal for raccoons, snakes and other reptiles are also very quick on their feet, because of this, raccoons will likely wait for these animals to die before they can eat them. 


In conclusion, raccoons do not eat deer.

Deer intimidate raccoons, raccoons usually avoid deer because they are quite large and seem as though they can easily overpower the raccoon.

Raccoons will eat smaller animals like snails, slugs, earthworms, snakes, other reptiles, crayfish, clams, and fish.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat dog food?, Do raccoons eat dog poop?, Do raccoons eat dead animals?

Do raccoons eat deer?
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