Sunday, August 6, 2006
New-born Whitetail Deer Fawn Scent
Newborn Whitetail Fawn
Question: A bunch of us hunters had a discussion recently and we had differences on whether or not a black bear could smell out a new born fawn. I was always told that they have no scent at least for a week after birth. Could you please respond so we can resolve this disagreement?
Thank You -- L.J. Dubanowitz
Answer: Fawns are born completely odorless for the first few days of life. The doe relocates away from the fawn only returning for nursing. This prevents predators from detecting the fawn's scent and the location of the fawn.
Whitetail fawns are born from April through July. At birth, whitetail fawns usually weighs between 4 and 8 pounds. The first 48 hours of life are crucial to the fawn's survival. A poorly nourished momma doe reduces a fawn's chances of survival. Fawns surviving their first week of life have a good chance of joining the deer herd. In the first few weeks of a fawn's life, the doe will determine the location the fawn will stay. At birth, fawns have a orangish-brown coat and are covered in white spots. The spots provide camouflage helping the fawn to blend-in with the surrounding environment. These spots will fade away in the fall when the first winter coat of fur is grown.
Like most adult deer, fawns remain motionless when danger is near. Fawns and adult deer will often go unnoticed by predators by staying still. If you come accros a fawn in the wild, please do not touch it. The doe is nearby and will often abandon a fawn if human odor is present on the fawn.
posted at 8:15 AM