Everyone thinks whitetail deer fawns are cute and playful. If you are an avid hunter, it is important to become familiar with the life cycle of the whitetail deer, beginning with its birth. One way I track fawns and does are with trail cameras. Even if you are a non hunter and want to keep track of them when you are not around, this is the answer.
A doe goes into estrus in the fall, which means whitetail deer fawns are normally born sometime between late April and early July. Does birth one, two or sometimes three fawns. Though triplets are not as common, twin fawns are often spotted by recreational sports persons and hunters.
white tail fawns have a spotted reddish coat that is fairly silky. There may be
several hundred spots on the coat. The spots enable the fawn to
camouflage itself, with the colors blending well with the surrounding
natural environment. They usually weigh between 4 to 8 pounds at birth. The
whitetail fawn loses its spots by the end of October of the same year it was
born, or within 3 to 4 months after birth.
The fawn is also weaned by the time it loses its spots. By November the average whitetail male fawn will weigh close to 80 to 85 pounds, and the female fawn will weigh 75 to 80 pounds. As the spots disappear, the fawn's coat also changes from its reddish color to a grayish winter coat. The buck fawn's face grows a bit darker in color but the belly remains white.
When a fawn is born it is odorless so that predators are not attracted to its location. In fact the mother doe will stay away from the fawn for a few days so that her scent does not rub off on the fawn or attract predators to the area where the fawn is hiding while gaining strength. When a fawn detects danger it will remain perfectly still. Fawns that live past the first week have a good chance of surviving to adulthood.
Fawns normally don't make any noises except for occasional bleating when in distress. When the fawn bleats and the doe is unable to see the fawn, she will come running to the fawn's rescue. A doe and her fawns live as a family group until the fawns are weaned. Sometimes multiple does and whitetail deer fawns will group together. Interestingly, the area where the fawn is born normally becomes its adult habitat.
The whitetail deer doe pictured below has two whitetail deer fawns with her,
all three are feeding to put on fat reserves for the winter ahead. Notice one
fawn has lost its spots and the other has almost lost all its spots as it loses
its summer reddish color coat.
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