Today we saw one of the first fawns of the season! This newborn is on Wrangell Island. Mamma Doe was keeping her baby on the dirt road so that it could get it's new legs all working together.
She jumped off of the road momentarily when we startled her. She turned quickly, jumped back onto the road, and collected up her little one.
Then it was time for dinner.
After which Mom showed the fawn how to clean it's face up.
Mamma Doe turned her back for just one second...
...and the fawn made a break for it.
In it's first act of open defiance the little rascal headed right for the human, and Mom wasn't happy. That fawn was working up a pretty good head of steam with those spindly legs. I had the long lens on, but the fawn looked like it was going to keep coming. I gently scuffed my foot on the gravel. Baby stopped, Mom checked Baby for damage, and then she shot me that look. That "You know what you did!" look.
In the brief gestures of deer language this was pretty emphatic. I've been told! We wanted to get the truck past them safely, though, so I talked in a soft voice and explained the situation. I don't think that deer speak Human, but I do think that they have a pretty good sense of a person's intent. We all walked slowly down the road, me trailing at a fair distance, to find an easy place for Baby to step well off to the side.
What child can resist a mud puddle along the way?
Once the kiddo headed for the brush where there was a steep ditch. Mom Doe knows her territory, and she was having none of that.
The ear tug stopped the fawn in its tracks and it was a little off balance. Mom gave it a quick supporting shoulder nudge.
This doe is such an attentive and careful mother. She licked her baby often, nursed it twice during our walk, and was firm when necessary.
Just a little further down the road there was a turnoff to the left. I faded right, and the deer walked out onto the side road. My sweetheart started the truck and picked me up. Mamma Doe and her baby stayed there as we drove past, and we smiled.
Wishing you smiles, too,
P.S. This determined baby deer is not for petting. Doe's may reject a fawn that has been handled.
Enjoy more Southeast Alaska animals in the Alaskan Critters index.