My daily routine here at Deer & Deer Hunting involves a midday run along the streets of Iola, Wis. Yesterday was no exception; only the ending was a bit different. Muscles sore and pulse racing, I slowed to a walk near the Krause Publications’ main entrance. That’s when I spotted her: A big, mature doe standing her ground near the entrance to one of our courtyards. She allowed me to walk within 5 yards of her before she hesitantly ceded and stepped cautiously onto the lawn. I knew her hesitancy to flee could only mean one thing: Fawns were nearby!
I took a quick showered, changed into my work clothes and phoned D&DH-TV Executive Producer Chris Hermans. He was on his way out to lunch, but he stopped and immediately grabbed his video camera. Dozens of other KP employees stopped by to take deer pictures and get a firsthand look at the whitetail behavior and unusual "maternity ward."
We carefully made our way to the hallway overlooking the courtyard. Suspicions confirmed! The doe had just dropped two fawns into the grass of the secluded spot. Both were curled up in little bundles, still wet from their births. I suspect they were less than 2 hours old when we came upon them. Hermans captured these timeless images of the fawns’ first steps and excursions.
This is yet another prime example of the incredible survival instincts of the whitetail deer. This doe instinctively knew where she could keep her fawns safe, and the fawns instinctively knew what they needed to do while waiting for Mom to return.