RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas — It is a special season in the South Texas wildlands as whitetail deer are giving birth to their young. Richard Moore takes us out into the ranchland where it is peak time for fawns.
Tucked tightly down in the grass, this newborn fawn lays motionless waiting patiently for its mother to return.
Every year, during the later part of June and first couple of weeks in July, whitetail deer give birth to their young. Mature does typically have twins and occasionally triplets.
Fawns are adorable creatures with big brown eyes and wonderfully spotted coats. The coloration and pattern of their fur helps camouflage them from predators during the first days of their lives when they are most vulnerable and are spending a majority of time laying still trying not to be detected by a coyote or bobcat.
The spotted rascals grow quickly, as the sooner they can scamper the better their chances of eluding predators. Newborn fawns can typically stand within 30 minutes and are able to walk within a few hours.
Fawns nurse several times a day, and thanks to their mothers nutritious milk they mature rapidly and can outrun most danger at some three weeks of age. They begin eating vegetation around this same time and join their mother for extended browsing sessions.
This wary pair of twins is several weeks old, and is watching for any sign of danger, which would trigger flight. They are already old enough to browse, but will still nurse if given the chance.
It promises to be a very good year for fawn survival in deep South Texas as ranchlands have had sufficient rainfall to provide adequate cover for the newborns to conceal themselves and plenty of vegetation for them to browse.
There is a very good chance that these young twins curled up in tall summer grass against a weathered tree trunk will grow up to thrive in the South Texas wildlands.