Fawns do the darndest things!
I have had at least a dozen phone calls so far this spring from good caring people who have found fawns that have, seemingly, been abandoned by there mother. In reality the fawns were probably not abandoned and, most likely, were being well taken care of.
When a doe is done nursing a newborn fawn, she hurries off fast enough in between tending to that fawn such that it cannot keep up with her. The fawn is left on its own to find a good place to hide using its natural instincts. As we know, kids left on there own don’t make the best choices: and neither do fawns. Also, maternal instinct sometimes has the doe place fawns from a multiple birth in different places– so they stand a better chance surviving from predators.
We find them by roads, in parking lots, in back yards, and yes– even in garages. On our farm, we have a stagnant water hole that has been fenced off for their safety and we even added some extra fence at the bottom to keep the fawns out. With all our work we still found two fawns yesterday that had somehow found a way in. Without our help these two fawns would have ended up dead!
Sometimes we do need to help the little guys out of some tough spots. We have all done it with our own kids. If you feel compelled to move a fawn; be sure you only touch it around the rib cage. Hold it away from your body so that you do not leave your scent on it and place it in a secluded place where it feels it is hidden. The greatest urge we have is to hug them because they are so cute. That is a death sentence for the little guy because you have then left your scent on it and the mother may now abandon it.
If you find a fawn, the best bet is to enjoy it from a distance and be amazed at Gods perfect creation!
The long awaited warm weather has been ideal for fawns to be born and to foster new antler growth! Adequate rain fall has also aided in the sprouting of much needed vegetation to ensure the health of the herd.
On the down side… with the warm temperatures and rainfall bring the hazards of warm soft ground and it’s effect on the hooves of the deer. Potential foot injuries can come from hooves sliding deep into mud and getting poked by debris to create puncture wounds. This can lead to foot infections which can be very difficult to heal.
Another issue the soft ground poses is that without a rough surface for the hooves to wear (or file) down, the hooves can get overgrown which leads to difficulty with walking. This is very painful for the deer and can limit their mobility.
Yesterday on Conquest Deer Farm we had one of our 3 yr. old bucks with this exact problem. His hoof had overgrown and he was limping in pain. Our only solution was to dart him with tranquilizer, wait for him to fall a sleep and then trim his hoof. This has to be done during the early a.m. because a tranquilized deer can over heat if the outside temperature is to high, risking the life of the deer.
After trimming the hoof, the buck was given a reversal drug to wake up him up quickly. It takes a full day of monitoring the deer to make sure that he stays in the shade and drinks enough water to rehydrate. The buck is up and running this morning! Another successful day on the farm!! This big boy will keep on growing his world class set of 2014 antlers!!!!
Over the past few years, flood plots and trail cams have become widely effective for the avid hunter. And with nutritious food plots, hunters are improving the health of deer herds all over the country.
I have a number of people asking me how to care for the food plots to get the best benefits from the vegetation. By using food plots here at the farm; both inside the fence
for our own deer– but also outside the fence for hunting purposes, I have found the following important points to be essential.
It is very important to keep the food plot topped off! Deer are browsers and they prefer tender leaves, so by mowing the plot half way to the ground you will keep the leaves and shoots tender. Long mature grass, alfalfa, and clover turn thick and tough and are less nutritious. Deer will only eat this if they have to and will not get the full benefits from it.
Maintaining a healthy and inviting plot will hold the deer in your area through the Summer and into the Fall. As a hunter and a deer breeder, I love to see the antler growth this time of year, knowing that they have the food and minerals to achieve maximum growth.
Setting up trail cams around your food plots will help to see what
deer are coming to your plots and the progression of their antler growth.
ConQuest 200 TV is based on the life and drama surrounding the breeding and farming of 200” Whitetails.
Episodes bring the viewer inside ConQuest Deer Farm’s gates to become witness to their genetic design program. Genetics along with nutrition creates some of North American’s largest typical whitetails. From Artificial Insemination to birth, the show encompasses the life and death of this magnificent animal, captivating the hunter and non- hunter alike.
ConQuest 200 goes beyond “reality show”
realms with its non- scripted drama, which in turn educate the viewer with each incident that occurs. Viewers are drawn to the beautiful innocence of fawns and marveled with
majesty of world-class bucks as the Conquest Crew is faced with constant challenges.
There is an old saying in the hunting world, “Once a spike always a spike.”
This old saying no longer fits the genetics we enjoy hunting today, and
couldn’t be any further from the truth. I am asked all the time about antler growth for each age class. The two most frequent questions I get asked include, “What age do I start harvesting bucks?” and “When do bucks mature antler wise?” While these are both good questions, each area will have different maximum antler potentials. Some properties can grow 200-inch bucks, while others can only grow 120-inch bucks. Both properties have maximized their potential given the bucks have received all the right nutrition and have been stress free. Here is what I have learned from living with deer and studying antler growth for 25 years. First, you can NEVER judge a yearling buck’s antler potential by his first set of antlers. Second, two year old bucks will show you their antler structure (frame work), but do not show you their maximum potential as an adult.
Usually by age three or four, most bucks will have grown their largest set of antlers. At this age, they have not yet become a dominant breeder buck; therefore have not had to endure the stress of defending their territory and breeding rights. This allows them to maintain a better-conditioned body through the rut; which has a direct positive impact on the next year’s antler growth.
Weather & Deer
Weather conditions in mid summer and early fall can be extremely hard on your deer herd. This time of year you start getting high and continuous humidity which can lead to pneumonia and other respiratory problems. The does and fawns are becoming more active in their movement. The fawns are running around and strengthening their muscles which causes them to breathe in more moisture. Add the cool nights we have been getting lately and it is the perfect recipe for lung infections.
So what can you do for the deer to help them get through this type of weather? Feed minerals and feed supplements on a continuous basis which will help keep their immune system built up!
The bucks are heading into cooler low areas which also have a higher humidity rate. They also need supplements but normally don’t go where does and fawns are so you may need to put a couple different supplement stations out on your properties.
We have had a very moist summer with good rainfall and this leads to softer ground and higher bacteria levels and more insects that carry diseases. So again, it is critical that we keep the deers’ body condition at its maximum potential to ward off as many infections as we can.
Lastly, the more we interfere and disrupt the deers’ normal patterns during this time of year the higher the stress levels become. This will cause them to use up more energy and weaken
their immune system… making them more vulnerable to injuries and infections.
Leave as little impact on the deers’ environment as possible at this time of year and be patient until the fall.
All deer are susceptible to many different injuries and infections. Most of them have
a strong will and determination to overcome many brutal injuries and sicknesses. I have seen all types of problems with deer over the last 25 years, from broken legs to broken jaws. A severe issue that deer face can be infections that will rot parts of their bodies off and yet most deer have the ability to live on.
In the picture that is attached you see an adult doe that looks like a chipmunk. She seems healthy and looks to be in good shape. The cheeks on this doe are food pouches. Yes, I know deer don’t have food pouches and that is the problem.
This doe was
born with extra skin in her cheeks and while she ate and chewed her cud she slowly deposited some of the food on the outside of her teeth. Unlike a person that can reach in and remove the food, this doe continues and will continue to stretch her cheek skin. Over time the food will start to rot and will infect her teeth, gums and cheek. It will become so sore that she will stop eating and then unfortunately, a slow painful death from the starvation and infection.
The only way this can be fixed is for a person to remove the food, clean and disinfect the inside of the mouth. Then surgically cut the excess skin from the cheek and sew the cheek back together. In the wild this is not an option. So if you see this situation while hunting the most humane thing you can do is to harvest the deer to keep it from suffering.
It is always amazing to me
when I read a well written article. A descriptive author can make you feel as if you are actually witnessing what is happening in their story. Another type of well written article can educate the reader in a simple and straight forward manner, while captivating one’s interest.
I have the privilege of knowing two such authors, my long time friends, Randy and Tara Barks. The Barks own
the longest running Private Cervid/Deer Industry Magazine
titled “Deer Tracking”.
Deer Tracking Magazine has in depth articles from private deer farmer information, right down to the everyday hunter. These articles are non-bias doses of deer education which will enhance your perception towards your hunt and most of all, the scouting/preparation needed for a more successful hunt. Their latest issue concerned herd management including the “hack-saw” effect.
This particular article talks about choosing the style and quality of antler that you prefer and how to achieve this through management of the herd in your area. Every issue is a wealth of knowledge from this Christian family who reside in Canada. This family hunts and traps as a way of life with the simplicity of solid values for wildlife and humanity.
I personally appreciate their well earned skills for capturing the real-outdoor world and bringing it to life on the pages of their magazine. I highly recommend subscribing to Deer tracking Magazine. You won’t be disappointed with what you will learn! You will receive 4 quarters per year. You can also go to www.deertracking.com for more information.
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