Ask The Biologist

Standing Her Ground

Standing Her Ground

By Bob Humphrey

Brave doe was most likely protecting her fawns.

QUESTION: Earlier this summer I was out hiking and looking for arrow heads when I came upon a doe standing in the corner of an overgrown field. She let me get quite close and kept stomping her feet and blowing at me rather than running away. Any idea why she would do this? It seemed strange.

ANSWER: I can only speculate, but would say there is a very good chance she had a fawn or fawns nearby. I have observed this behavior as well, typically around the time of peak fawning seasons. Even then it is more common for the doe to run or walk off, likely trying to lead perceived danger away from her offspring, much like the ruffed grouse’s broken wing act. However, they will occasionally stand their ground. This behavior usually ceases as the fawns get older and are able to flee and escape danger.

— Recent Ask the Biologist Question:

Unbearable: There are lots of predators in the woods, and most like venison. Find Out The Answer!

Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd