A Troublesome Youngster

Picture of Mama from previous year

There is a white tailed doe that gives birth on my property every year and stashes her little fawn in my grass while she goes out to forage. Its really smart if you think about it. The dogs are locked up but their constant barking keeps the coyotes away and i think she knows i would intervene were anything to bother her fawn while she was out as i do so when the dogs occasionally get an opportunity to chase it. This year she gave birth to her fawn over in the orchard closest to the pecan tree under a low hanging cedar branch at night. Every other year she’s given birth during the day near the opposite corner of the property about 30 feet from the pin oak. This baby certainly is different from all the others. I have no idea whether it is male or female but it is head strong and really sure of itself. Unlike all her other babies that stayed put and waited for her to come back and retrieve it, this one goes on frolicking adventures, right out in the open, white tail flipping, and frequently wanders into the street. It does zoomies around the property like an excited dog and frequently gallops in front of the dog run fence, working my girls into a snarling frenzy. She looks tired this year. I’ve already had to approach her baby twice to untangle it from wire fencing it thought it could just float through like a vapor. I’ve had the thought, “this thing isn’t going to live long.” Ive also had the thought, “i hope the little one doesnt get her killed.” She’s an older deer, bigger than the other does in her little group. She’s not as flighty as the others. She takes her time and often assesses whether the dogs can get her or not when they’re barking and if they cant, she goes in to clean up the chicken feed on the ground regardless of their noise. She’s a wise old doe and she seems to know just how much effort to expend on mothering. In past years she has been very attentive to her fawns, and they were all very people shy and great at camouflaging. I literally never had contact with them, just watched them from afar. She seems to extend the same lessons and effort to this fawn that she did for fawns of years past but the results are much different. She doesnt respond with blind mom rage every time the fawn cries…and it cries a lot. If the dogs are legit chasing her baby she’ll go after them but if the baby is crying because the dogs who are locked in the dog run are barking at it, she just stands there and chews. So, when the baby runs in the street she’ll go over there and call it back but if it doesnt listen she walks off. I think she too has had the thought, “this thing is going to be the death of me.” Neither myself nor my neighbor are sure this year’s baby is going to make it to adulthood.

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    1. My property is on a bit of a plateau so we normally fare pretty well during storms in terms of flooding…lightening is a different story. It has been so hot and dry that the grass is thoroughly dead and i only mowed once this year in April. Its been a horrid year for fires. We need rain so badly, we’re starved for it. And its been raining for a couple hours now. It is welcomed and though the dogs are not excited about all the noise of it i am thrilled and so is the parched earth.

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