A whitetail doe licks her newborn fawn in a quiet forest clearing by a creek. (Copyright and website text will NOT appear on prints and products)
Most whitetail deer fawns are born in May or June, though a small percentage may be born as early as April or as late as July. Newborns can stand up to nurse within 30 minutes of being born and can walk around within a few hours. As soon as the fawn is born the doe will start licking it clean to remove scent of the birth that might attrack predators. As soon as it can walk she will move the fawn away from the birth area and hide it in thick cover. Then she will leave to avoid her own scent attracking predators to the area. The fawn will spend most of its time lying alone and hidden for the first week of life, lying perfectly still if danger approaches so as not to be detected. The mother will only visit her fawn a few times a day to nurse. She is not far away, however, ready to come running to her fawn's defense if she senses a threat. After about a week the fawn will start following its mother around and run from danger instead of lying still. By about 3 weeks of the fawn can run fast enough to escape most danger. A doe will typically only have a single fawn in her first year of breeding. In her second year and beyond she may have multiple fawns. While 3 or more fawns are rare, twins are fairly common among whitetail deer.