John Ozoga on fawn management

Successful Deer Management Starts With Large Healthy Fawns: Management Implications

By John J Ozoga


The general health status of fawns during autumn can reveal a great deal concerning the nutritional and social well-being of a deer population. For example, the frequent occurrence of pregnant doe fawns and/or “infant” antlered buck fawns are good indicators of a nutritionally and socially well-balanced deer herd. Conversely, poor annual recruitment rates and small, lean fawns in autumn indicate a need for a management change – but identifying the precise problems involved and determining corrective actions can be a daunting task.

Remember, social factors can impact deer welfare just as readily as nutrition and that young male and female have different social and nutritional requirements. Hence, management practices favoring one sex may not free online school teen sex videos necessarily benefit the other.

Normally, social stress due to high deer density and nutritional shortage go together, resulting in increased fawn mortality rates and small fawns destine to become poor quality adults. In such cases, the first priority would be to lower deer density to balance the herd size with the available food and cover resources.

Identifying and correcting the diverse effects of poor population sex-age structure brought on by unfavorable harvest strategies, or improving seasonal nutrition due to poor range quality, may be more difficult.

As I’ve discussed in other articles, good nutrition during the final one-third of gestation (late winter/early spring) is critically important. Invariably, offspring that survive poor maternal (or grandmaternal) nutrition suffer lifelong consequences.

The best advice is to create and maintain diverse habitat, especially on maternal range, that satisfies the contrasting seasonal food and cover requirements of young growing animals. From what is known about deer metabolism and forage value, lush summer herbaceous forage rich in protein and autumn foods high in digestible energy meet these needs.

In short, to produce skeletally large fat fawns by winter, the benefit of nutrition must first flow through the pregnant doe. In areas of historically poor nutrition, removing negative maternal effects may take several generations (of deer) – so be patient.


Literature Cited

Ozoga, J. J. 1988. Incidence of “infant” antlers among supplementally-fed white-tailed deer. Journal of Mammalogy

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69: 393-395.


Ozoga, J. J. and L. J. Verma. 1982. Physical and reproductive characteristics of a supplementally-fed white-tailed deer herd. Journal of Wildlife Management 46:281-301.


Ozoga, J. J. and L. J. Verma. 1984. Effects of family-bond deprivation on reproductive performance of female white-tailed deer. Journal of Wildlife Management 48:1326-1334.


Ozoga, J. J., L. J. Verma and C. S. Bienz. 1982. Parturition behavior and territoriality in white-tailed deer: impact on neonatal mortality. Journal of Wildlife Management 46:1-11.


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Verma, L. J. 1988. Lipogenesis in buck fawn white-tailed deer: photoperiod effects. Journal of Mammalogy 69:67-70.


Verma, L. J. and J. J. Ozoga. 1980. Influence of protein-energy intake of deer fawns in autumn. Journal of Wildlife Management 44:305-314.


Verma, L. J. and J. J. Ozoga. 1980. Effects of diet on growth and lipogenesis in deer fawns. Journal of Wildlife Management 44:315-324.


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Verma, L. J. and J. J. Ozoga. 1987. Relationship of photoperiod to puberty in doe fawn white-tailed deer. Journal of Wildlife Mammalogy 68:107-110.


Image Twin Towers 5.JPG Caption: Great bucks come from great dj kane singles fawns born to good habitat and healthy population levels.