Friday, June 28, 2013

A Newborn Fawn is only the beginning

Take a close look at the doe hoovering-up birdseed in our front yard.  Think that belly looks like twins?

I learned about deer habits the year a doe hid her newborn fawn on my front porch next to some herb pots.  Now I get antsy when pregnant does put our yard on their maps.  

Deer are habitual--eat along the same routes, sleep in the same places. You don't want a deer to adopt your personal landscape.  Deer nosh on garden plants even when times are good...they'll eat ANYTHING if they're hungry enough, even poisonous oleander.

So the sight of a pregnant doe making herself to home in your front yard is a fawn-spotted promise of a future herd.  Just do the multiplication:  A deer lives about 10 years if her teeth hold out and she doesn't run into a car one dark night.  She'll have one fawn in hard years, twins in good ones.

The fawns will follow in their mother's hoofsteps. By the end of year five after the first pregnant doe claims your yard, you've got a good shot at a baker's dozen calling your hacienda home.  Not that you'd shoot them since it's against the law to shoot deer on plots the size of yours.

You understand why I've been hoping the doe likes someone else's yard more.

And then I saw this in our front yard on Tuesday.  


Time to invest in deer fencing.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Wow. Your own little Bambi. I was routing for the garden
    vs the deer the whole time, and then I saw that picture of the little bambino.

  2. I love it -- and, yes, better your yard than mine!

  3. The way I figure it, Bambi and company owe me upwards of several hundred dollars for ruined plants across the years. And you are right - we've observed the same phenomenon (pregnant does - then fawns - then groups chomping) year in and year out.

    Unfortunately our subdivision's herd is somewhat entrapped so we are all captive experiment subjects in an ongoing game of "where/what are the deer eating now?". I don't mind sharing - a little - but supporting a herd is not something I'm up for.

  4. Hi Kathleen,
    What a sweet little Bambi! And what a wonderful garden! So I can understand your concern. Maybe you should send Bambi and its mother down here? ;) Our garden is not that lovely by far, and there's not much to graze on that is worth keeping. And we also have pastures and brush around. The deer would feel well here, I think.
    Best regards and have agreat weekend,

  5. That fawn looks like an Axis deer to me. But the pregnant doe looks like a white-tail. Do you have both? Your lovely landscape is doubly cursed, then. You are so right; the Axis deer will eat anything and everything. They're even more destructive than the whitetail. For peace of mind, I put up a fence. I figured I'd pay for one in very little time with the money I spent replacing eaten, uprooted, trampled and antler-damaged plants, shrubs and trees. I recommend it!

  6. I guess we've been really lucky with the white tail families roaming our neighborhood. They make their way through our place daily but we have not had a single plant or bush nibbled on in 2 and a half years. (Knocking on wood) It could be that there are enough empty properties around ours that they don't need to eat our plants.

    I do realize that eventually they will turn on us, but for now, we do enjoy the sights and it keeps speeding on the roads down to a minimum.

  7. They are such a delight to see except when they are noshing on your garden. I have only seen one set of twins this year. It must have been a good year!

  8. Deer are so beautiful, but I'm glad I can enjoy them from afar and not chowing down in my garden.


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