Whitetail fawns experience rapid growth during the late spring and into the summer months. Fawns in the North are typically born in mid-May through June, while fawns in the Southern Hemisphere are born during a much wider time frame due to the huge breeding window. Healthy fawns will weigh between 4 to 8 pounds at birth, and then double that weight during the first 2 weeks of life, which is a period during which they survive entirely on their mothers’ milk. Beginning around 2 weeks of age, rumination begins in their stomach as they begin to supplement their milk diet with soft forages. Fawns will triple their birth weight within the first 3 weeks of life.
Whitetail fawns adapt and master the art of hiding within hours of life, their spotted reddish-brown coat is designed perfectly to blend flawlessly into forested and tall grassy environments. Even in the first days of life, fawns will nurse with momma and then move away from the doe to bed for the remainder of the day. This behavior removes mom’s scent from the fawn’s bedding and nursing site, leaving virtually no sign for predators to discover them.
All of this underscores the key importance of planning and providing quality whitetail habitat and a wide range of cover types for does and fawns during the spring and summer months. An abundance of diverse forages and natural browse will ensure high-quality milk and quality green food for fawns, as well as a wide range of diverse cover to hide them from larger predators. All of this greatly improves fawn survival rates, the health of the overall population, and, ultimately, the quality of your hunting opportunities.