Ask The Biologist

Play Time

Play Time

By Bob Humphrey

Just because deer don’t usually do something doesn’t mean they won’t ever do it.

QUESTION: I consider myself to have pretty good knowledge of deer and their habits. I deer hunted for years before my disability. Now I watch our deer cam. We just had a doe give birth to twins. The doe had the babies out one night about 2 to 3 a.m., and in walked the buck I have been seeing alone for about two weeks now. He was playing with the fawns. The mother never seemed to mind. I didn’t think this kind of behavior existed, but I have it on video. Is this normal behavior for bucks to be with mother and small babies like that? I am a little puzzled by the behavior and a little afraid for the babies. – Sheila G.

ANSWER: While it is somewhat unusual, you can never rule anything out when it comes to whitetails. As you are no doubt aware, bucks tend to be loners, or associate mostly with other bucks this time of year. But, like humans, they have different personalities. You didn’t mention how old the buck was, and while yearling bucks tend to disperse from their native home range, it’s possible this one hung around, or came back, and the doe is his mother. Or maybe he was just lonely. Either way, the doe will protect her offspring should the buck represent any threat to them.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd