Ask The Biologist

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s not as strange as you think that does nurse fawns into hunting season.

QUESTION: I was bowhunting last October when a doe and fawn came by my stand. I was about to shoot the doe when the fawn came up, and I swear it started to nurse. Isn’t this late in the season? What would the fawn’s chances of survival be if I shot the doe?

ANSWER: Like humans, every deer is different. The further into fall you go, the less a fawn will nurse and the less its mother will let it. Still, there’s a great degree of variability between doe/fawn pairs as to when nursing ceases. In fact, wildlife managers often look for the presence of milk in hunter-killed does as evidence that she has or had a fawn. This helps provide an index to productivity levels within the herd.

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Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd