Ambulance Victoria said McDonald's wife Mandi was treated for upper body and leg injuries and flown to The Alfred hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Police euthanised the deer because of concerns for the paramedic's safety on scene.
Paul McDonald was killed by his deer in Moyhu, near Wangaratta.
"At some point while he was in the enclosure he was attacked by the deer", Acting Senior Sargent Paul Purcell said.
The family had kept the animal for about two years.
She also works at a local cafe and had recently penned columns for the local paper, the Wangaratta Chronicle.
"Moyhu is a small community", he said. "They stop doing everything except for finding a female partner and become extremely aggressive", Howlett said.
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"The majority of encounters most people will have with deer is with deer fleeing in the opposite direction."
Deer are regarded as a pest in Australia, where they have taken over much of the natural areas in Victoria state, with a population of around 1 million, rising by around 200,000 a year, according to government estimates.
The fall months are deer mating season, Barry Howlett of the Australian Deer Association told the Morning Herald.
"They are a wild animal and a wild animal that loses its fear of humans is a really risky thing". It's not clear if this is the deer which killed Mr McDonald.
Voss said deer usually run away when humans approach, but this deer "had nowhere to run so he just attacked instead".
"There's still some people with serious velveting operations, and there's hobbyists who keep deer in a pen because they're an exotic novelty".
Deer are not native to Australia and there are now large numbers of feral deer in parts of the country.