The buck that killed Ronald Donah, 43, was among about a half dozen deer penned up on his property in Ellenburg, about 180 miles north of Albany, said state Trooper Joseph House.
Details of Donah's injuries and what may have prompted the attack were not available Sunday.
Maureen Wren, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said Donah had a license to keep the white tail deer on his property but did not know why he was doing so.
She said deer attacks, at least in the wild, are extremely rare.
Donah was taken to a local hospital, where he died. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.