Blog Post

Oh Deer!

Oh Deer!


Spring means babies all over Land Between The Lakes.  At the Nature Station we’re excited that one of our white-tailed deer had TWINS!

Come on out and check them out.

Twin fawn born at Nature Station at Land Between The Lakes
Twin newborn fawn born at Nature Station whose size compares to the size of a dinner plate. Photo taken by Arrianne Byrum on June 3, 2015.

The size of these two tiny deer, with their coats of ruddy brown and ivory spots, compare to the size of dinner plates.

Cautiously, their mother hides them at the bases of trees or along fallen logs, blending in with leaves and duff on the forest floor. This serves as a very important life strategy for deer.

Twin Newborn Fawn at Nature Station
Twin newborn fawn’s spotted camouflage and lack of any body scent make it invisible to predators – including humans. Photo by Arrianne Byrum on June 3, 2015

Their spotted camouflage and lack of any body scent make them invisible to predators – including humans.  Mom spends limited time with them so she does not attract unwanted attention or transfer her smell to the young ones.   The fawns will lay motionless until their mother encourages them to get up to nurse.

Knowing this wildlife survival behavior is important.

Way too often kind-hearted humans interpret this behavior as if the white-tailed doe has abandoned her young. The humans assume the fawns are now orphans.  People will try to “rescue” by taking care of them or turning them over to conservation officers.  In reality, this can be the most harmful thing to do that fawn — taking it away from its mother.

If you do find a fawn, follow these tips:

  • Leave it alone and try not to attract attention to the fawn.
  • Protect  the fawn from pets like dogs
  • If the fawn has been in the same location for more than 24 hours or shows injury, call a wildlife rehabilitator. if need be, call the Nature Station at 270-924-2299. We can give you the phone number of the nearby wildlife rehabilitator that can help your situation.
  • If for some reason you have taken the fawn home, immediately call a wildlife rehabilitator and follow his/her instructions for the fawn’s health and safety.
    • Please do NOT feed or give water to the fawn – unless advised by the rehabilitator.
    • Please do NOT try any “home” remedies to care of the fawn — even remedies from the internet. Almost always professionals find these detrimental for the deer.
  • In many states it’s illegal to take wild animals home.

Visit the Nature Station and watch our newborn fawns grow!

I admit that right now, they will hide most of the time.  As they grow older — even in a few weeks — the two fawns will become bolder and easier to see. Because of their size, you might want to bring your binoculars.

Good luck spotting them! Have a great summer and visit us often!

John Pollpeter

Lead Naturalist

Woodlands Nature Station



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