Ask The Biologist

On Their Own

On Their Own

By Bob Humphrey

What is the fate of most fawns whose mothers are taken during hunting season?

QUESTION: If you take the mother during hunting season, will her fawns survive the winter? — Matthew N.

ANSWER: Maybe. A lot depends on the age of the fawns. The older they are, the better their chances of survival. In most cases, fawns should be old enough to fend for themselves by the time deer season rolls around. Possible exceptions might be very early bow seasons or late-born fawns, which is more likely in the deep South, where the rut can sometimes be more protracted and not as rigidly constrained by the seasons.

Interestingly, there is some evidence suggesting orphaned male fawns may actually have a higher chance of survival because they are not forced to disperse in the fall. As a result, they remain in their natal territory, which they are more familiar with.

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Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd