WEST SEATTLE DEER: ‘Westley’ on the move again today


1:08 PM: Thanks to Jackie for that new photo of “Westley,” the West Seattle deer, who resurfaced today. Last sighting we heard about was on Election Night toward the west end of Alki Beach Park. So far this morning, the reports are from south Beach Drive and Lincoln Park. It’s now been a week and a half since “Westley” turned up in West Seattle (on Pigeon Point), and if you’ve missed our previous coverage (scroll through the WSB Wildlife archive), please note that wildlife/animal-welfare authorities ask you to keep your distance – getting too close could scare him, and also could put you into danger, as deer can lash out powerfully if they feel they are in danger. If you wonder “why doesn’t someone capture and relocate him?” Seattle Animal Shelter and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife both say that would be more of a threat to him than letting him be. So please, for as long as he’s in this area, please be extra careful – he’s crossed many streets – just in case he crosses your path.

1:33 PM: Thanks to Lezlie Jane for forwarding this photo by Jonny Layefsky:


Lezlie says it was taken on Beach Drive around 11:30 am.

30 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE DEER: 'Westley' on the move again today"

  • Stewart Wechsler November 10, 2016 (2:12 pm)

    Well, at about 12:30 pm today I was teasing the alien weeds out of the moss beds in my favorite sunny glade near the wooded middle of the upper plateau of Lincoln Park, when I heard what sounded like a dog or human going through the bushes, but was surprised to find a deer, standing there about 20′ ahead of me!  It was a young buck with short antlers, presumably the one in the above photo.  

    After spending much of my time in Lincoln Park over the last 16 years, keeping track of all of the wild plants, animals, fungi and lichens, it was my first sighting of a deer!  After telling a  couple of people about it, I learned that it there was a story about it here in West Seattle Blog that people had been following.  

    I was also pleased to use it as a rationale to tell the next people with their off leash dog about it, then to explain that protecting such wildlife was one of the reasons that it is best to keep dogs on a short  leash.  The main reason I care about dogs on a short leash is actually because with every leap and pull they dig up the mosses, the wildflowers and disturb the soil and the fungi below the soil, and with the heavy traffic of dogs in Lincoln, the de-vegetation of the surface of the ground by dogs progresses faster than it can naturally grow back.  Then the plants that grow most quickly in disturbed soil are alien weeds.  I like to tell people that the reason I never walk my brother’s dog in the off-leash parks is that they are completely de-vegetated and too ugly, and with enough off trail dog traffic, our precious, beautiful, natural treasure of Lincoln Park, will increasingly look like those off leash areas.  

    As some of you may know, I have led nature walks in Lincoln Park (and elsewhere) for the last 16 years.  I just scheduled a night hike for Friday, December 9th, 7 – 9 pm , so now in addition to owls, beetles and the wild plants, we can look for the deer!

  • Stewart Wechsler November 10, 2016 (2:24 pm)

    I should add that when I first saw the deer, I thought it was an over-sized, off-trail, off-leash dog coming to undo my work, by tearing up the park, its beautiful moss beds and the wildflowers that thrive in them, that I have worked so long and hard to try to protect, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was a deer!

  • Dennis Cheasebro November 10, 2016 (2:56 pm)

    Seen in Lincoln Park at 2:00. We were on the bluff-top path approaching from the north the steep trail (with some steps) from the pool (the general vicinity where Stewart was at 12:30 above) when the deer came up that path. He saw us and paused, we backed up and he came on up and calmly turned south (there aren’t many spots along there where even a deer could clamber into the woods). We saw him again as he made his way eastward across the southern part of the park.

  • waikikigirl November 10, 2016 (3:44 pm)

    So Westley was on Beach Dr at 1130 (Lezlie) and then in Lincoln Park at around 1230 so his route must had been south on B.D. thru Lowman Park up the trail to where Stewart saw him… oh to leisurley stroll along the beautiful beachfront!

    I wonder where he’s resting at, at night? Too bad we couldn’t put a GoPro on him. :>) 

  • 2 Much Whine November 10, 2016 (3:49 pm)

    In October I saw in USA Today that a single male elk had returned to South Carolina.  It has been 2 centuries – 2 freaking hundred years – since elk have been sighted in that state.  The very first comment on the post had to do with erectile dysfunction pills (spam) but the second post (from a real person) discussed how important it was going to be to keep an eye on the population and to open up hunting so they don’t get out of hand.  Seriously?  One elk in two hundred years and somebody really thinks we need to start worrying about over-population?  To be fair, most of the rest of the comments were compassionate and protective and they were concerned for the safety of the elk.  I’m just pleased to see that our community, even though we have lots of hunters that would like to fill their freezers, seems to have the best interests of Westley in mind.  Great name, by the way.  And thanks, Stewart, for watching over our precious park.

  • Guy Olson November 10, 2016 (5:12 pm)

    I saw him on Beach Drive today as well.

  • M November 10, 2016 (6:33 pm)

    He’s getting closer to hopping onto the Vashon ferry.  Maybe he will swim across.  Hopefully he stays around Lincoln Park where he is safer.

  • AMD November 10, 2016 (7:14 pm)

    I’d be happy to pay his fare if WSF needs more than a buck.

    • Chuck November 10, 2016 (10:15 pm)

      Well played, AMD. Well played. I’d buy that for a dollar!

      • AMD November 11, 2016 (7:33 am)

        In the interest of fairness, I did steal that pun from a past Westley thread.  It was too good not to repeat!

        But, seriously, let’s either get this guy on a ferry to Vashon.  Or find him friends.  He looks so lonely.

        • miws November 11, 2016 (8:40 am)

          Thanks for pointing that out, AMD. I have a hunch the pun you are referring to is one that I made, unless someone made a similar one that missed. :-) 


  • New Thinking Needed November 10, 2016 (7:31 pm)

    Summer of 2015 I was at the park south of Pathfinder school and an animal crossed behind me very quietly.  I caught sight of it just briefly. I noticed it had the tawny color and short hair of deer. It crossed my mind maybe it was a young, but good sized, coyote with very short and smooth hair, or a deer…. I rationalized it couldn’t be a deer….but maybe it was. 

  • Andy November 11, 2016 (6:06 am)

    What a beautiful animal! But, I worry about him. I hope people will  continue to give him space and just enjoy his presence among us. I wish he could find a girlfriend. In the long run, though, I think it is too dangerous for him to not be relocated. How about on Blake Island?

  • everythingsucks November 11, 2016 (12:27 pm)

    I’m sorry, but this is a disgrace that they refuse to do anything about him. He’s going to get spooked, either by someone trying to make contact because people are stupid, or a dog will go after him, or whatever, but he’s going to run into the road and get hit. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. And then, like with the goslings and the goose that got mowed down, everyone will wring their hands and take about how dangerous it is for wildlife in the city and it traumatized their kids. And if you’ve ever known anyone who has hit a deer with a car, you know how much damage they do, so the driver who does it will likely be injured too. I’ve lived in rural communities and you see dead deer by the side of the road all the time. It’s disgusting that they refuse to even try to rescue this animal from such a dangerous environment, they are disgusting. I am really rethinking my annual donation to SAC.

    • newnative November 11, 2016 (2:22 pm)

      So after reading their many thoughtful replies as to why it’s better to leave Westley alone, you are threatening and complaining.  Because…you know better?  At least cite your credentials and sources.  

    • Lisa White November 16, 2016 (8:05 am)

      I totally agree. Someone should move him , you know some mean person is going to do something to him or kids, and he looks so scared. I think it is a discrace too. Do not let him just walk around here and have no home and no other deers to be with that is Totally mean. So the Wildlife people are just going to let him walk around until he gets hit by a car at night or whenever. And then if the person in the car gets hurt you will blame the poor little deer. NO you should take him somewhere and help him do not let him just wonder around.

       Makes me very sad. 

  • Trileigh November 11, 2016 (1:40 pm)

    I too would love to see the deer be somewhere safer and am worried about him getting hit by a car. But previous info posted by Tracy, from wildlife experts, notes that the deer is more likely to die or be injured from a would-be rescue process. That apparently happened to previous deer that people tried to relocate.  I can only hope we’re all careful enough to protect Westley from any harm as he explores our home neighborhood.

  • Andy November 11, 2016 (1:55 pm)

    Can’t  Westley be tranquilized and moved to a safer invironment? I’m just asking because I don’t know.  But as others have said, it’s just a matter of time until this beautiful animal is killed or injured.

  • waikikigirl November 11, 2016 (2:03 pm)

    I agree with everyone else that I wish he could be relocated, but like we all have said myself included, we just need to be aware of him and be extra careful!

    He’s the cutest deer I’ve ever seen…if I could I’d bring him to my house but I don’t think the hubby would let me. 

    Hey I know I’ll buy him a “runners” safety light with a solar battery that way we won’t have to worry of it ever the batteries burning out…oh wait that means someone will have to put it on him…”OH Honey”….

    All kidding aside lets just be extra careful and know that he is out there! 




















  • RayWest November 11, 2016 (2:56 pm)

    Has anyone seen him today (Friday)?

  • waikikigirl November 13, 2016 (11:20 am)

    As RayWest asks…has anyone seen Westley lately?

  • J1bellen November 13, 2016 (9:38 pm)

    Westleys horns look to be getting pretty big.  Should we be concerned if we encounter him?  I read that when deer grow horns they are more likely to attcak.  Also that in the fall they tend to sharpen their horns on small twigs.  I have young children and frequently spend time at LP.

    • WSB November 13, 2016 (10:36 pm)

      Just keep your distance, is wildlife authorities’ advice. They don’t seem to just charge people out of nowhere. Also, we haven’t had any new sightings reported in a couple days so he might not still be there.

    • raywest November 14, 2016 (9:57 am)

      Westley’s antlers are actually fairly small. He appears to be a very young buck-probably a few years old. The antlers get bigger the older the deer. Deer rub their antlers against small bushes to remove what is called “velvet” covering the new set that they grow each year.  The growing antlers are soft, filled with blood vessels, and are covered in a fuzzy skin as they growing. The skin (velvet) is shed after the antlers are fully grown and have hardened. Deer will tend to avoid humans, but can be aggressive if they feel threatened.  Male deer are more aggressive during mating season. Everyone should keep their distance. Considering Westley has not been seen of late, perhaps he has roamed into a new area.

  • WSMom November 15, 2016 (12:22 pm)

    Westley is in Burien per Burien blog.

  • Scott Schaefer November 15, 2016 (12:48 pm)

    Looks like “Westley” may be changing his name to “Burienley” (or “B-Townley”?) as he was likely spotted near Olde Burien/Seahurst Tuesday morning, Nov. 15:

    PHOTOS: ‘Confused’ deer spotted on 10th Ave SW in Burien Tuesday morning

  • kare November 15, 2016 (2:21 pm)

    can’t someone do something to help him. he is in a bad place right now. it’s too congested.

  • Marsh November 17, 2016 (9:47 pm)

    It looks like Westley has made it to my niece’s house on S 216th St in Des Moines.  Here is video shot earlier today (Thursday).


    • WSB November 17, 2016 (9:51 pm)

      He is almost close enough to get to the narrow point in the Sound between there and Vashon … and swim over to join MANY deer on the island. But wow, he has walked so far!

  • sushi November 21, 2016 (9:15 am)

    UPDATE on Westley from the  B-Town Blog :

    2. We saw him on Tuesday morning as well. He was in Lake Burien School Park and walked down 16th Ave SW, where a little boy ran after him and the deer then headed down 150th on the sidewalk. What a sight!
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      I saw him in the Lowes parking lot in Federal way Sunday morning..

Sorry, comment time is over.