Alsheimer: Developing Fawns Grow More Independent

By Charles J. Alsheimer

Whitetail bucks aren’t the only ones growing by leaps and bounds during the warm summer months. By the time a fawn enters its second month of life it begins transitioning toward adulthood. At six to eight weeks of age fawns have become much more mobile and independent than the first few weeks of their lives, and will begin to explore their bedding areas without their mother nearby. They will also accompany does into feeding areas like clover and alfalfa fields.


Alsheimer Deer and Deer Hunting

Whitetail does are beginning to wean fawns as they are now able to eat solid foods like flowers, clover and alfalfa. (photo copyright Charles J. Alsheimer)

Reaching eight weeks of age is a major milestone in a fawn’s early life. Most now weigh 30 – 35 pounds. At eight weeks a doe begins to wean her fawn(s) as they are now able to eat solid food like flowers, clover and alfalfa. However, she will allow them to periodically nurse well into fall. During the nursing process each fawn will consume up to 8 ounces of high-fat milk. If a doe dies it is believed a fawn can easily survive on its own if it has reached eight weeks of age.

If a doe has female offspring from the previous year, they will often rejoin the mother and fawns to form a small family group until the following spring. During this time of plenty, witnessing young fawns’ playful behavior alongside their mothers and other does is a beautiful bonus to time spent outdoors.

– Charlie

Count down the days of summer and the seasonal changes of  white-tailed deer while you prepare for deer hunting season with the 2013 Whitetail Daily Calendar. This calendar presents an awe-inspiring year in whitetail country featuring beautiful glimpses into the whitetail’s annual journey – from the lean, cold days of winter to the plentiful days of summer and the adrenaline-pumping rut.