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Deer woman

Artist's Rendering

Deer Women, sometimes known as Deer Ladies, are shape-shifting women in Native American mythology. They can be found in and around Oklahoma, The Western United States, and The Pacific Northwest. They allegedly appear at various times as a human woman, a young beautiful maiden, or a deer. Some descriptions assign her a human female upper body and the lower body of a white-tailed deer.

The Deer Women have been seen as beautiful women just off the trail or behind a bush, calling to travelers, leading some to draw comparisons with the "Nymphs" of classical mythology.

A Deer Woman is often said to have all the features of a normal young woman, except she has hooves instead of human feet and eyes similar to those of deer. Men who are lured into the presence of a deer woman often notice too late that it is not a normal woman that they are being lured by, but before they can get away, the deer woman stomps them to death.

Other stories and traditions describe the sighting of Deer Woman to be a sign of personal transformation or a warning. Deer Women are also said to be fond of dancing, and will sometimes join a communal dance unnoticed, leaving only when the drum beating ceases.

According to Ojibwe tradition, they can be banished through the use of tobacco and chanting. Others say that you can break their spell by looking at their feet, and realizing that they are hooves. Once they are recognized for what they are, the Deer women will run away.

Deer women are thought to be an allegory about attempting to know and understand someone you're attempting to get sexually intimate with. About how it's important to see someone as they truly are, not only as you wish them to be.

Popular Culture[]

  • Deer Women were featured as a character in an eponymous episode of the Showtime horror series Masters of Horror. It originally aired in North America on December 9, 2005 and was directed by John Landis, who is best known for his direction of the 1981 film An American Werewolf in London.
  • Cabela's Survival: Shadows of Katmai features a couple levels where the Deer Women are told of. Jonah, one of the characters, talks about this spirit. Logan, the main protagonist in which the player occupies, supposedly hears her below a very tall, steep cliff. As the player descends the treacherous cliffs, he finds that it is not the Deer Woman, but a doctor named Karen that somehow, nearly impossibly, survives the plane crash with Logan, and, also impossibly, survives a fall from a cliff that looks like it reaches to the heavens.
  • Deer Women are featured in popular trading card game MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation.
Deer Woman

Deer Woman as depicted in MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation