Photo by Ralph Hensley.
I always look forward to seeing the first newborn fawn of the year. Without fail, social media will begin to fill with pictures of these beautiful, wobbly-legged creatures, and understandably so. Very few things in nature are as beautiful as a newborn fawn in a lush, green field. But these photos are often accompanied by misinformation and bad advice. Let’s look at the magic and myths of whitetail fawns.
Magic: For the first seven to 10 days of life, a fawn will spend up to 95 percent of its time bedded. While bedded, a fawn has a very rapid heartbeat of around 175 beats per minute. When a fawn senses danger is close, it will lower its head and drop its ears, the heart rate will fall to around 60 beats per minute, and the breathing will become slower and deeper – all to try and avoid detection by predators. The first few days of a fawn’s life are a critical time. Most fawns that fall to predators die in their first 10 days of life.
Myth: “I found a fawn that didn’t run away. Something must be wrong with it.” More than likely you have found a very young deer. The fawn will lie perfectly still, barely even blinking, until you move on. Oftentimes, at this young age the fawn will even let you touch it or pick it up, but it is best not to. More on this in a moment.
Magic: Within a few hours of being born, Read more