The Deer Are on the Move


Anyone who has ever driven through deer country knows the importance of watching for deer who are out to play a game of chicken with your auto’s grill. It happens all the time, one minute you are cruising down the highway and there next minute there he is, ready to go through your windshield or at least remodel your bumper. Hundreds of thousands of deer auto collisions each year, especially during the rut. But there is another time of year that is almost as dangerous as driving during the rut and that is now, fawning time.

About 200 days ago we called “rut on”, that means that this years fawns are hitting the ground NOW It also means that mature does are in perpetual motion taking care of those fawns, they nurse them every few hours and are constantly moving them out of harms way or maybe seeing to it that they have some fresh baby greens to cut their baby teeth on. The perpetual motion machine is running on high is especially when a doe has more than one fawn to look after. Does typically keep them separated for the first few weeks, which means momma is back and forth between two locations, and those locations may just happen to be separated by a road. Fawning time can be just as treacherous as the rut when driving through deer country.

My one “deer on the move” expert is my auto-body repair guy. I ran into him a couple of weeks ago and he said the spring carnage was just beginning, he is always swamped with deer collision work from May-July. Next to the rut his busiest season for auto deer collisions is fawning time. It is not the little spotted critters that wind up decorating your bumper, it’s their mommas and last year’s fawns whose momma has sent them packing..  According to him, fawning time almost rivals the rut for keeping him in business and he should know, as deer collisions are almost 90% of his business.

The take away message is a simple one. “Drive just as carefully during the fawning season as you do during the rut because the deer are on the move!”

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Craig Dougherty
Craig Dougherty has been a staple of the hunting industry for over 35 years. He has held senior executive and board level positions with multiple archery and firearms companies, and industry organizations. He was Chairman of the Board of the Quality Deer Management Association and was instrumental in the formation of the National Deer Alliance. He has and his son Neil have published books on deer management and hunting, and have written hundreds of articles and appeared on hunting TV and at countless sportsman’s events. The pair founded NorthCountry Whitetails a deer hunting and property management company, where they manage over 300,000 acres of deer hunting property for clients across the nation. visit: