Key to a healthy food plot? It can start with the fawns!
We’ve all been there. It’s the spring season gearing up for a big summer of growth for our food plot and it’s time for a long walk through the field. Passing through trees and trails, vegetation that continues to sprout and very likely the simmering sunlight weaving in and out of the shadows. And there it is...a cute little baby fawn. Instinct says to get a closer look and see if it’s possible to snap a great photo to toss on social media and grab some likes. A picture is okay, but fight the urge to approach a baby fawn, especially that early in it’s life. While a fawn could be laying in a field all on it’s own, it’s very likely it hasn’t actually been abandoned and the doe will make her return for nursing later that day, likely after scouting out prospective food plots and feverishly loading up on nutrition. This isn’t bad parenting! It’s a tactic to protect the fawn as much as possible by not giving away their position. See, it’s been documented the first 10 days are the most likely a fawn will be targeted and killed. In fact the first week or so of a fawn’s life is spent embedded and while embedded fawn’s heartbeats rage on at a remarkable 175 beats per minute if it senses a predator, or say a happy go lucky walker through the forest. Upon feeling the fear of being exposed, the fawn’s heart rate will drop drastically to just 60 beats per minute so as to not give away it’s position. Starting to sense a theme as to why it’s so important to leave baby fawns alone early in life? The good news for the rapidly growing fawns is within days they’ll begin to see strength develop in their legs and not long after that it typically becomes nearly impossible for a human to catch one. While the big focus is on the first 10 days of a fawns life, the fact of the matter is the first several months are very taxing as the fawn develops physically, seeks to avoid predators, and desperately works to find itself as a part of the herd. To enhance and grow the health of your food plot, and improve the health and size of the deer that will eventually graze at your food plot, supporting fawns plays a massive role. So please, if you’re looking to attract several animals and some beautiful bucks to your food plot, for gosh sakes leave the fawns alone!