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I must confess that in my hunting expeditions, I have never come across a fawn giving birth. This observation brought about the question, where do deer go to give birth? Well, after intense research, I came to find out that they tend to seclude themselves in a meadow to give birth and partly raise their fawns.
In this article, we will discuss a lot concerning the birth process and its location. It is important to note that although their reproductive system is scheduled, timing is of crucial importance. The primary for their seclusion is to ensure safe delivery and raising of its young ones.
Where the Deer Gives Birth
In its final days of gestation, the female deer will separate itself from the usual herd and seek a more secluded area to give birth. The doe takes into account a lot of considerations and precautions before selecting the perfect spot. Most often than not, they choose an area heavily populated with vegetation and near water, a meadow.
After deciding on the perfect location, it will then continue indulging further until the birth time arrives. During birth, the doe lies on its side as it delivers the young one. As soon as a more significant percentage is in the world, the female will stand upright to slide out with the aid of gravity and its weight.
Typically, a doe only gives birth to two fawns, and in very peculiar encounters, will this number be more or less.
Why the Deer Chooses a Meadow
First and foremost, the deer puts its fawn’s security on the forefront, so it opts for a meadow. The thick and high vegetation present in this region will provide enough cover to make its young ones almost invincible. It is also easier for the doe to patrol the vast land while still having a view of its fawn’s location.
A doe is an intelligent animal, and its selection process proves so since it must be near a reliable source of water to boost their survival. It does make sure that the breeding area is not too close to water, and at the same time not too far, just like where they sleep. In my years as a hunter, it is typical for predators to take watch for prey near water bodies, which the deer avoids. Also, it is not too far that the young ones cannot make it to quench their thirst.
The thick and long vegetation acts as a perfect source of food since the deer family is herbivorous. Its proximity will efficiently reduce the wandering diameter the female has to travel in search of food. Note that in the first few weeks, the mother is responsible for feeding the two offspring.
How Long is a Deer in Labor?
Forty-eight hours is the most prolonged labor duration a deer may experience, whereas 24 hours is optimal. Similar to human beings and other mammals, the intensity and period of labor fluctuates for each individual. Aspects such as age, body build, and experience play a huge role in dictating how long it will take to give birth.
Protective Measures Taken by the Doe
Separate the Fawns
Since most often than not, the deer gives birth to two young ones, the doe finds it best to separate them. A distance of at least 40 meters is enough to separate the two. This approach ensures that in case of an attack, not all of its young ones will perish.
The red fox being the most prominent predator of the two; it tends to prey on these offspring rather than fully mature adults. The doe takes turns in fending for the two separately located fawns, feeding and cleaning them. Since the distance between them is not that large, it can keep watch simultaneously.
Encourage the Fawns to Maintain a Laid Posture
To make the fawns completely invincible from predators, the mother tends to persuade them to always stay underneath the cover. Sometimes the grass coverage may not be too long to fully cover the growing young one, hence the need to squat or lie down. In case it stands and is still visible, the mother also stands to overlook it in its stance.
Always on Alert
The doe frequently surveys its breeding position on the lookout for any looming danger. It can travel up to a radius of 200 meters from its fawn’s location to ensure that all is well. In case of any issue or predator observance, it will try to scare away the threat. Since most dangers tend to be red foxes, it easily frightens them away from its fawns.
Also, while taking on the surveys, the doe calculates the amount of food at hand. Will the doe find that the food is unavailable in rare cases since it is in late May or early June when food is in plenty?
The coating of fawns from birth is spotted with a lighter color. This composition is a massive impact on its ability to blend in with its habitat surroundings, and only keen eyes can spot it. Its mother may not influence it, but the fawn uses it to protect the fawn.
As the young ones grow, their color coating darkens, and the spots disappear. Since most of the fawn’s early life is spent resting under the thick vegetation, it is almost invisible to predators.
Will a Deer Abandon its Fawn if You Touch it?
No, a doe will not abandon its fawn only because you came into contact with it. However, the young fawn is practically odorless, and once you touch it, you leave it with a human scent.
From my research, I can conclude that a meadow is the most likely location for a doe to give birth. With all the benefits of this location, I do not see them changing this tradition for a long time.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.