Recent scouting forays have revealed that my local deer herd with each member sporting a highly-visible red summer coat, is progressing along nicely. Abundant does with single and twin fawns seem to be everywhere and I’ve been fortunate to glass a few good-sized bucks mixed in with other bachelors. Antler growth even on young bucks is an amazing process, but it’s the does that are truly interesting right now.
The woods are jungle-lush in July, with landscapes from the northern reaches of our country to the deep south absolutely teeming with plant life. It would seem that it’s a veritable buffet out there for the deer, and to an extent, it certainly is. The new growth offers them plenty of edible options, not-to-mention the flourishing agriculture fields and their tasty offerings.
So what does this have to do with does and fawns? The short answer is plenty.
It takes a lot to produce the nutrient-rich milk necessary to grow healthy fawns. Lactation draws water, protein, sugar, and fat from the does meaning they need a healthy ample diet. Fawns rely almost exclusively on the milk for their substantial growth in the first few months of their life.
But, nature is truly amazing. Case-in-point is the fact that even an undernourished doe will produce the essential milk, though the quantity will likely be less than that of a healthy doe. Still, the doe’s body goes through what it needs to in order to ensure the fawn has the best chance of putting on much-needed weight before fall and eventually winter.
So what does this mean to us? Well, if you can tear your eyes off of the velvet racks and the summertime bucks they’re attached to, it might be a good idea to cart a bag or two of Record Rack Golden Deer Nuggets out to the deer lease or family farm. Even better, pair up the Golden Deer Nuggets with a Record Rack Deer Block and leave them both near a secluded water source. Sure the bucks will benefit, but so will the does and consequently, so will the fawns. After all, without a healthy crop of fawns year in and year out, you’re pretty much just taking steps backwards in the arena of deer management.
Author: Tony Peterson