Terry and I took the dogs to the woods on Friday, for the long weekend. We had no sooner let them out in the campsite than Terry started yelling, and I had to scoop Mackie and Sadie back into the car. Cinder (the littlest) was running in wide circles around Terry and wouldn’t come, and Misha thought Terry was yelling at her, so she was crouched down in the leaves and wouldn’t come, either.
Turns out that a deer had parked her fawn in our campsite, and Sadie and Mackie had found it. Terry saw them almost immediately, pushing the baby with their noses. For those of you who don’t know, momma deer leave their babies at dawn, and go to graze for the day. They return at dusk to feed the baby and move it to another location. Since fawns have no scent, they don’t attract predators. Our dogs literally fell over this one.
In addition to their protective coloring, fawns also WILL NOT MOVE once their mom has parked them. They will lie perfectly still, hardly blinking or breathing, until mom returns. This behaviour probably evolved because the ones who moved got eaten — there’s no way a fawn can outrun a predator. Their best defense is to remain absolutely motionless and quiet.
After Terry determined that the fawn was unhurt (except for a little dog spit), I was able to get Cinder and Misha into the car with the other two dogs. We all went to walk in the creek and then took the dogs home. They were a little disappointed that their weekend had been ruined, but we couldn’t take a chance that they would harm a fawn… Even though the momma deer had moved the fawn by the time we returned to the campsite, the bitty baby was still out there somewhere, and the dogs would probably have found it again… or another one like it.
I wish I had pics. The fawn’s hair was still “wavy”, meaning that it hadn’t straightened out from being in the womb. It’s little head was smaller than a softball. It was probably less than 24 hours old.