Saturday, June 04, 2005

Fawning Over Deer

White-tailed deer are a staple of Texas wildlife, especially in the Hill Country where the population is "one of the highest naturally occurring densities of white-tailed deer in the world." Golfers usually love catching glimpses of deer on golf courses, in the brush around the holes or even scampering across a fairway. It's not an unusual site on golf courses located out in the country.

The Kerrville Daily News reports that now is the time of year when does are dropping their fawns, and the article contains come good info on what to do if you come across a fawn that appears to have been left all alone: nothing.

“The majority of doe deer will have twin fawns. A doe will try to hide fawns while feeding nearby.“If danger appears, she will run away in an effort to lure the cause of danger away,” he said. “The fawn’s spotted pattern and lack of scent assist in keeping it safe.”

Where this doesn’t work so well is when the approaching danger is human.“Humans happen across single fawns and incorrectly judge them as abandoned,” Kasberg said.

“Although she may not be seen, the doe is usually nearby. The best procedure is to walk away from the fawn. If the doe is capable, she will return and continue nursing the fawn through weaning.”

The folks at Scott Schreiner Municipal Golf Course in Kerrville often run across fawns left in the middle of the fairway at this time of year:

“(The does) bring the fawns out on the course, then come and get them about noon and bring them back into the brush,” Cullins said.

“We tell the golfers to leave them alone. Usually the moms have told the fawns not to move.”When a fawn is lying on the course, maintenance staff sometimes put a traffic cone on the fairway “just so nobody runs over it,” Cullins said.

So remember: If you see a baby deer on or around the golf course, look but don't touch.

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