The similarities of fawns and babies

Karen Wils photo An old photo of Baby Robert meeting Bambi at camp.

ESCANABA — ‘Tis the first weekend in June and the forest is flooded with new life.

Flowers and fiddlehead ferns unfurl in the sunshine.

Fresh new faces are everywhere. Around town, strollers cruise the sidewalks with perky little, wide-eyed tots going for summery rides.

In the woods, newborn fawns wake in the late afternoon sunlight, for some frolicking.

There is a lot of similarity between young whitetail deer and children.

Starting out from day one, a healthy birth weight for a human is seven pounds and newborn fawns, with a healthy, well-nourished doe, should weigh seven to eight pounds, too.

Big-eyed and curious, there is nothing cuter than a baby or a “Bambi” in all of the Northwoods.

Photogenic, impish, hungry and energetic describes tots and hard toes (deer).

A new fawn sleeps a lot, like a baby. The doe chooses a “territory” in which to give birth to her fawns, a place with drinking water nearby and lots of underbrush or tall vegetation in which to hide a spotted youngster, is what she prefers.

Most does have two fawns and they give birth to them in separate spots on the forest floor. Sibling fawns never cuddle up together like puppies and kittens do. Lone fawns keep the scent down and are more likely to stay hidden from predators.

Quiet and camouflage is what keeps fawns safe for their first couple of weeks of life. Fawns can walk and run for short spurs soon after they are born, but they like to curl up and sleep and wait for the doe to come to them for the next nursing.

So, if you come across a speckled baby like this, shhh, keep quiet, keep your distance and tiptoe on your way.

By the end of June the fawns are usually running around pretty good. They are ready to follow Mom into the meadow or across the river. They kick up their heels, play tag and race the wind and the raindrops.

At this stage, they can be real trouble makers, getting into gardens, eating flowers, and causing safety problems by the roads.

With luck and several years a female fawn will grow up to be a 125-pound doe, and a buck fawn can become a 200-pound animal, (typical human weight).

Upper Michigan’s woodlands and country lanes can raise some might fine youngsters and critters.

Like many U.P. families, we have watched deer grow from tiny fawns to mature old swamp bucks and does right outside of our camp window.

At this time of year, we are all a little more careful in the woods so that our speckled neighbors can get off to a good start.

We watch from a distance and give them names like, Piney, Gabby. Huey, Rocksie and LuLu.

And they watch us as we go back and forth. They know our smell, the sound of our dogs, cars and tractors. They scoot in close to us for apples and check out our bird feeders. They wave at us with their whitetails.

Let this be the birth announcement. Mr. and Mrs. Bucky Deer are proud to announce the birth of their twins Spot and Freckles Fawn. June is wild baby month so remember to be cautious. There are babes in the woods and everywhere.


Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.


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