Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.
The spring season is quickly advancing. April has passed and it won’t be long until Iowa white-tails begin dropping their fawns. I was recently reminded of this fact when I spotted a pair of adult does slowly browsing through the sundrenched woodland in my direction. The deer kept coming until the closest had approached to within twenty yards, maybe less.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, I began taking photos as the deer continued to advance. It was not until after I had taken several shots that I noticed the obviously distended bellies of both deer – a sure sign that each would soon be giving birth to one, and most likely twin, fawns. As I continued to push the shutter, the closest doe’s midsection suddenly “came alive” as if something inside was literally bouncing off the walls. That ‘something’, of course, were the tiny hooves of the fawns who were likely growing weary of living in cramped spaces. The doe responded to the activity by arching her back in obvious discomfort. I quickly surmised that the doe was probably as anxious to have the fawns out as the fawns were to make their escape to the outside world.
Although I’ve been watching Iowa white-tails for many years, this was only the second time that I’ve been able to observe the activities of fawns before they were actually born. The previous observation occurred last May.