Tis the season. This week marks a time of whitetail abundance. You probably have more whitetails on the ground in your hunting area right now than at any other time of year. November-bred does have been dropping fawns for the last couple of weeks and the majority of fawn drops should be completed by the end of next week. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that in many areas, only one of every two fawns born will make it into the fall herd. Predation is the leading cause of fawn mortality. Sadly, some areas see few, if any, fawn survival due to excessive predation. Coyotes, bears, and bobcats can wipe out 70 to 80 percent of a fawn crop, on occasion, even more. Studies indicate that most fawn predation occurs during the first three weeks of a fawn’s life.
But, fawn mortality is not the only reason your whitetail population drops daily. Yearling road kill due to fawning-season dispersal kills many young deer. With no doe momma to watch out for them, these one-year-olds either wise up to the rules of the road or pay the ultimate cost. Next in store are summertime deer diseases–EHD and CWD among others. How any deer manage to make it through to adulthood is a wonder of nature.
So enjoy the population high while you can, because it’s a harsh and unforgiving world out there and whitetails have more than their share of deadly dangers.