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Grant's Blog

Thoughts from the field

Why am I getting trail camera photos of spotted fawns in November and December?

Hello,

We hunt in north central Mississippi.  For several years now I have caught pictures of fawns born really late on my trail cameras.  I have pictures of some (but not all) fawns still with spots and/or suckling milk from their mother in November and December.   What biologically can be going on with these late fawns?  It seems to me that it can’t be a good thing.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!!

Denton

Denton,

Fawns are typically born late in portions of Mississippi and Alabama.  As a manager, I worry more about the duration than the timing of fawning season.  If you are seeing small, spotted fawns for more than three consecutive months it may be an indicator that the adult sex ratio is skewed toward does.  This would result from an extended rut and therefore fawns being born over an extended period of time.  This has several negative ramifications for the herd including allowing predators to key in on fawns and abnormally high stress on bucks.  You, and all deer managers, need to collect simple harvest data to monitor the herd’s health and be able to make sound, site-specific management decisions.  Herds with characteristics as described above usually have lower body weights than normal for the local habitat.  Collect some simple, but accurate data and you can make some good assessments of the herd’s health and appropriate changes to the deer and habitat program.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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