For other uses, see Deer.
"The wilds of Skyrim are teeming with deer. They are docile creatures, but serve as food for much of the province's more savage beasts."
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Deer are non-hostile animals found throughout Skyrim that resemble real-world reindeer or caribou.  The best thing to do with deer is to train them in smithing.  You'll never look back.


They are light grey, and if you look closely you may notice the difference between male and female: The females are slightly smaller and are more slender than the males, and have small antlers, so you will get small antlers as a drop from females and large antlers as a drop from males.

They are fragile targets that are easily dispatched due to their low amount of health. However, if you succeed in attacking one without killing it, it will flee rather than fight back, which can often be achieved by using a weak ranged spell or low level bow/arrows. Deer often scatter at the first sound of a passer-by, making them rather hard to dispatch for low level or melee players. However, characters with high Sneak can get closer to them.

If the Dragonborn is careful and does not disturb the deer, they can be found standing still or slowly wandering around. The moment the deer spots the player, they will attempt to run regardless as to whether or not the Dragonborn is acting aggressively. They can then be easily picked off with a well-placed arrow. While hunting deer, it is a good idea to either be equipped with a small amount of stamina potions or the Whirlwind Sprint shout to easily chase after them, if you do not kill them right away.

Another way of hunting deer is to pursue them while riding a horse, this makes keeping pace with them much easier. With the Dawnguard DLC installed, you may also attack them while riding, which is extremely effective, albeit you have to dismount to loot the pelt and meat.

The Fury or Frenzy spells can be used to make it hostile. If this is done, the deer will attack, but they deal very little damage.

General Stats



  • They can run very fast, potentially making it difficult to kill them before they escape


  • Low health
  • Cannot cause damage to enemies

Damage types

  • Physical

Soul level


This section contains bugs related to Deer (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • Occasion when fleeing after attack, deer may randomly slide up objects at impossible angles, such as with trees or rocks.
  • If a deer is attacked by a wolf or any other animal, its pelt and/or venison may be missing when you go to loot its body. However, this was possibly implemented purposefully in order to add realism, due to the possibility of a predator tearing the pelt or infecting the meat.
  •  PS3   After engaging in a fight out in the wilds where deer can be found, sometimes a red dot indicating an enemy will be seen on the players compass. If you follow it is leads you to a random deer nearby. this also seems to happen with foxes, and sometimes both become "hostile", but flee from you like normal.
  • If a deer flees into water, it may move around wildly and then disappear completely.


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