What are Deer main predators?

Deer, like all animals, are part of a food chain, therefore they have a predator but what is the deer’s main predator you may be thinking?

Wild Deer

Wild Deer

Deer is delicious meat and is often hunted by humans for its tasty flesh but as well as humans you can also find these predators licking their lips too:

  • Wolves
  • Panthers
  • Bear
  • Jaguar



Wolves find it very easy to pick off deer.  They will often try and find the weakest link in a herd of deer and try to isolate it from the main pack.

As Wolves hunt in packs, once they’ve isolated their prey it is very easy for them to take it down.


Panthers hunt singularly as most members of the cat family do.  Panthers are renowned for stalking their pray and can be very patient waiting for the right time to pounce.

They are extremely quick over short distances and can hit a top speed of approximately 50km/h for a short period but can maintain a pace of 10-15 km per hour over long distances.

Normally, when hunting Deer, Panthers will catch their prey over a short distance.


The black bear is omnivorous and will, therefore, eat plants, nuts, insects and also small mammals, which include raccoons, deer, and rodents.

The grizzly bear is more accustomed to eating deer than its relative and like the black bear, should it wish to capture a deer it will normally be by ambushing it.

Depending on the species and the time of year (weight and condition, it can be possible for a bear to outrun a deer depending on the terrain.

Bears are notoriously fast runners and can outrun a horse, especially on downhill sections as all undulations come the same to bears.  Be warned, do not try and outrun a bear…


Jaguars will often stalk deer and attack when the deer are least expecting.  Quite often, jaguars will climb trees to keep out of sight from deer and often leap from trees to wrestle their prey to the ground.

So there you have it, the main predators of deer are; humans, jaguars, wolves, panthers, and bears but don’t forget, most hungry carnivores would ravish a tasty piece of venison especially if the deer was injured and unable to escape.