Two hundred days ago we were consumed with the whitetail rut. It was mod-October and the Hunting Page was in rut watch mode, the signs were there but the rut had not quite exploded.The explosion cam a month later and on or about November 14. We called “RUT ON”.So what’s the big deal about 200 days, well, fawns are typically born somewhere around 200 days after a doe is bred, the fawns should start hitting the ground any day now and peak sometime around the first week in June. Does typically move their fawns from their birthing site within 3 hours and often hide them in thick cover. Does typically remain within 100 yards of their fawns.
The average whitetail fawn will weigh 6-8 lbs. at birth and will be able to stand and nurse within 30 minutes. They can walk in a few hours but typically spend 90% of their time bedded until a few weeks old. Newborns nurse 2-3 times daily and gradually ramp up to nursing 6-8 times in a 24-hr. day, the average feeding time is roughly 20-30 minutes, and fawns can begin eating vegetation in 2-3 weeks of age. Fawns can outrun most danger at 3 weeks.Does typically have a single fawn the first year they are bred, after that, twins are typically born but fawn mortality often ranges from 25%-50% or more. Predation is a common cause of fawn mortality during the first three weeks of life. Bears, coyotes, and bobcats are the most common natural predators. Fawns also die from birth defects, malnutrition, disease and inadequate maternal care, autos are also a common cause of fawn mortality as well, severe winters can also claim late born or small fawns.
Providing fawns with good nutrition and predator resistant (usually dense cover) habitat is
believed to increase fawn survival rates. The old adage, “A chainsaw is a deer’s best friend”, is more than applicable to a fawn and planting food plots that green up in spring and grow all summer makes for fat and happy fawns. And one final fawn fact, the average number of spots on a fawn is 300.