White-tailed Deer: Mothers


Often too curious, these deer have allowed me to photograph them in just about every state of being.  A pregnant doe keeps a watchful eye on me last spring, during mid-May, just days before she would have her fawn. 


Here’s a side view of the same deer.

Whitetail deer will run interference for each other.  The males will distract you away from pregnant females and their fawns, while other females will attempt to distract you away from a nursing doe.


Here is the same not pregnant doe about a month later.  I had positioned myself on top of a hill and waited for the deer to come out of hiding.  My best guess is I had positioned myself between her and her fawn.  She walked right in front of me and then slowly walked away, while I followed her out of the field.


After luring me out of my hiding spot, she even walked back toward me while she foraged.  Not too difficult getting a good shot when the deer has moved to within twenty yards.  At this point though she went down the hill and circled around behind some bushes and then started back across the field where I had been.  While she made a bee-line across that field – probably going to her fawn – a second doe stepped out of the brush to distract me.


She stepped between her and I while she headed to her fawn.


Highly social animals with a strong sense of family values, these deer have shown a willingness to sacrifice themselves to potential predators.  The males will attempt to protect the females and here another doe tries to distract me from a nursing mother.


This female walked up to within twenty feet of me while the other made her escape.


You can see how pesky the mosquitoes and deer flies can be to them.  Also she has some hoof prints scarred into her side.  That may be from an altercation with another doe, or it may be from a male during mounting.  The males do get a little rough with them.

Here are the same two deer with the fawn from a few weeks ago.


With the other doe still running interference.


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February 2010

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