Nature’s Balancing Act


by Daniel E. Schmidt, D&DH Editor

At birth, white-tailed fawns inherit a light tan coat covered with cream-colored spots
(250 to 350 in number). These spots create the illusion of small patches of sunlight
penetrating the foliage, and provide the perfect camouflage. The number of fawns produced
varies somewhat, but in general a young doe having her first fawn will have one. After
that she will usually produce two fawns, and in rare cases—especially in prime habitat—there
may be three.

Perhaps more interesting, the sex ratio among fawns is approximately 1:1, with a few
more buck fawns than doe fawns. A considerable body of scientific evidence suggests
that more males are produced when mature females are undernourished, whereas well
fed and well-nourished does are likely to produce more doe fawns than buck fawns.
The sex ratio, however, changes rapidly because postnatal mortality is higher among
males than females.

To learn more about 30 years worth of deer behavior, biology and research, click HERE.