Deer on Mercer Island circa 2008

My neighbor spotted three deer outside her house this weekend. I’ve heard they swim (!?) over from Seward Park and the Eastside.

Not my neighbor’s house, and not those deer. Photo: Noel Zia Lee on Flickr.

Mercer Island Weekly said there were deer spotted near Pioneer Park about the same time last year.

Has anyone else seen deer on the Island this year? And more importantly, has anybody ever seen a deer swim? I’d love to see some pictures of that, or at the least hear an elaborate description.

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40 responses to “Deer on Mercer Island circa 2008

  1. Just browsed your blog after seeing lots of link-throughs to my helmet cam video on Flickr. As it happens, yes, I’ve seen deer on MI, and yes, I’ve seen deer swimming.

    I grew up over on Vashon Island, and swimming deer weren’t all that uncommon. They sort of dog paddle, heads above water, legs churning away with very little splashing, you can hear their breathing more than their swimming. I’d be out in the boat fishing or just floating along, and there was a deer crossing the harbor or heading to the mainland.

    Back in high school I saw a young deer that had been chased into the Sound by dogs, it was swimming for more than a mile and reached an area with continuous bulkheads, no beach to climb out on. It was clearly getting tired and tried to come ashore several times, finally I waded out to it and carried it up a flight of stairs to solid ground, the neighbors brought out a beach towel to dry it off since it was shivering from so much time in the water.

  2. mercerislandblogger

    Thanks for the comment, Joshua. For those of us to whom swimming deer are new and baffling, any information is welcome. And your story about helping out a swimming deer is really nice.

    If you ever managed to get a video of a deer swimming, I’d be indebted and in awe of you forever. Especially if the video were with your helmet cam.

  3. I haven’t seen any swimming deer, but we saw some in our backyard close to 90/E. Mercer Way a couple of weeks ago. :)

  4. Mike Trenholm

    I grew up on Mercer Island during the 70s and 80s and spent most of my childhood in the woods and never saw any deer. My dad still lives up by the Presbyterian Church and has saw a doe and a fawn twice on his street last fall.

  5. April Linton

    I grew up on MI too, and never saw a deer. But my dad, who lives in the 8200 block of W. Mercer Way, saw a couple the other day. I too am wondering if they swam over – or perhaps were imported by residents. I doubt they walked over one of the bridges.

  6. My husband saw three deer this morning (a doe and two fawns) here at Shorewood Heights on Mercer Island. He spotted them in the meadow just north of the office. I went all around Shorewood hoping to spot them as well…no such luck, but I am keeping my eyes peeled. So exciting!!

  7. mercerislandblogger

    They’re back! Wonder if we’ll have any more sightings of this group.

  8. I just saw two different groups of deer on my regular evening walk. A family of 4, two adult females and two youngsters. Then I saw a very large female about half a mile away. Both sightings were on the east side of Island crest way just off the I-90 onramp. I figured I would see some in Upper Burbank park, but no luck.

  9. I saw deer in one the soccer field at St Monica school about 2 weeks ago, across the street from MIHS.

  10. On Tuesday, Feb. 2, just before dusk, I saw four of them crossing Island Crest Way (they were heading west, I was driving south) at about 90th, before you reach Island Park elem. school. Several other drivers politely stopped, as well, to let them cross the road one at a time. I left the city a voicemail wondering if we need a “deer crossing” sign there. They were heading down into the wooded ravine, so it might be a common crossing spot for them, given someone else saw them around 90th in an earlier post.

  11. mercerislandblogger

    So interesting to get all these sightings… I wonder what the average population of deer on the Island at any one time is.

  12. DEER SIGHTING: Around 10pm April 9, 2010, saw a three deers crossing SE 36th Street near the bike path entrance at the intersection N Mercer Way.

  13. mercerislandblogger

    They’re back!

  14. We have had this female Deer in our backyard on Mercer Island for two days now. We just love seeing are graceful friend. I got to sneak up on it and feed it an apple it was really fun.

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  16. Two deer spotted while jogging this morning on 82nd Ave NE north of SE 24th ( on the northeasternmost point of the island).

  17. mercerislandblogger

    Thanks for the new reports… they’re on the move!

  18. Just saw 2 deer down in the 7000 block of West Mercer Way. Surprised me…had no idea there were deer on the island!

  19. Saw 3 deer (looked like 2 younger ones) the afternoon of July 4th on 5400 Block & West Mercer Way. Amazing, so beautiful!!! That same evening I saw one traveling solo around 6100 & West Mercer.

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  21. Was riding my bike just after dawn a couple of weeks ago, came around the corner of 81st Ave SE and SE 70th St., and practically ran into a deer that was standing in the middle of the street. I came to a stop, and we just stood and looked at each other for a few seconds. I finally decided to reach inside my bike bag to get my camera but by the time I got it out he had maneuvered to a spot where I couldn’t get a good photo. After following him for a bit, he took off.

    Last week I was walking in Pioneer Park and saw lots of deer tracks in a bit of mud along a path.

  22. My folks (near E. Mercer) saw tracks and had their garden nibbled last summer. So far, no sightings yet, but they worry about it. Deer are lovely but don’t really belong in island suburbia. I hope people don’t start feeding them – then they will really start to become an issue! Ditto raccoons. Cute but we need to ensure that wild animals stay wild.

  23. Yes, back in the first week of July I saw four, yes four, a buck in velvet and three young does, all looking very healthy and not bothered at all by me in my car driving southbound on 80th Avenue SE in the 6600 block. Came walking in a single line out of a yard on the west side of the street and walked along the west side of the roadway for two houses until turning back into another yard two doors down and were then lost to view. Also, a month earlier, coming southbound along WMW at WM Elementary, up climbed a single doe from that steep/deep gully on the west side of the street opposite WM elementary’s rear parking area, stopped in the middle of the road, stared at me a for about 10 seconds and then ambled off into a driveway/yard and disappeared in their bushes. Based on all the sightings I reckon there must be at least a dozen deer on the island at any one time and that’s certainlt a breeding colony. Next come the elk and moose!

  24. I saw three deers in the back yard of my apartment building around 10am on August 28th, 2010. First I thought they were huge dogs, because I never thought I could see deers from my living room window. But they were deers. Should I say I was lucky? Well. Anyway I felt happy like a child for the rest of the day.

  25. 3 deer seen in mid august 2 blks east of mlk and yakima st, also beacon hill, capitol hill-west and east by arboretum. are they in the same group traveling? how many are there we have not seen?! in the greenbelt by my house above the arboretum are manynew deer trails and characteristic nibbled plants. i saw one eating my neighbors apples.

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  27. I’ve lived on MI two years now and what a pleasant surprise in the wee hours of this Christmas Eve morning to see a doe as I came around a curve at the 4500 blk of W. Mercer. Of course I slowed to enjoy the sight as she walked across a lawn toatally unphased by the my car, and the one behind me. She appeared very relaxed and very much at home. I didn’t know there were deer here on the island, but after doing a Google search and finding this blog, I guess there are.

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  30. Thats so cool, I was at a house doing some work for a client and believe it or not there was actually a 8 ft bear walking through the neighborhood its was so cool. mikedillard

  31. mercerislandblogger

    Hey Mike, thanks for the reply but I don’t buy the bear story. Gave me a laugh tho.

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  33. Tom on the island

    Ive lived on MI for over 5 years. Late last night when my wife and I i were returning from the community center we saw 4 deer –2 adults and two fawns on Island crest way. They were driving a newer 2011 ford Explorer, and they had some old logs strapped to the top of the car. We waved and tried to get pics, but they mustve been in a big hurry cuz they were going about 60 in a 30 zone. I think its great we have deer on the island.

  34. mercerislandblogger

    That’s great Tom, I always wondered what deer families drove. I had figured them as a Volvo/ Subaru set but I guess I was wrong.

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  38. To April Linton: did you live in Phoenix, AZ prior to moving to Mercer Island, and attend Squaw Peak School? If so, we were in the same class. I’d love to catch up! Hope you’re doing well. Andre Bormanis

  39. My wife spotted a couple of deer here on the North end of the island this morning. She managed to snap a couple of photos before they “spooked” and ran off.

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