Today I noticed something odd with animals and their pathing when they chase your character. They will chase you up to a fixed distance but then will stop. This stop line is hard line, if you cross it they come after you, if you cross back, they stop and go about their non-aggressive business. If you time it right you can step across the line an hit the animal, then move back and they won't strike you.
I'm not sure if this is a bug, but it seems to be a way to exploit hunting of animals.
Here is a video of the behavior described above.