Notes on an Orphan Fawn

It has been slow at Psikeep. I am not sure I can get the Mushroom Wedding Arch finished before winter.  I am still without a vehicle and trying to get as many hours of work as I can in order to get the ranch truck up and running.

I saw the orphan fawn for the first time on September 19.

Several nights before I heard the neighbors poaching. I awoke as the first shot cracked into the night and a few moments later I heard the kill shot. The neighbor must have shot the mother while the fawn bolted away into the dark.

I provide water for the wild life and this time of year when there is little for the deer to eat I set out the alfalfa dust which  gathers at the bottom of the goat feeders. The goats are too spoiled to eat it.

I saw Scruff for the first time when he still had his spots. It was obvious that he was the orphan fawn from the poaching. He was alone and trying to follow another doe with her two fawns.  The doe would have none of it and kept trying to drive him off.  It did not look good for him. The best I could do was to try to leave him some food in the hope that he would get it before the other deer.

In the fall the deer are traveling in small herds consisting of a mother doe, her fawn or two that were born this year and yearling or two from the previous year. Sometimes a yearling buck is trailing behind the group at the start of the rutting season. 

Things got worse for Scruff. Several days later I saw that there was a wound on the back of his neck. I took this picture as he was eating from the chicken food set out below the porch.

Image of the orphan fawn with a wound on the back of the neck.

View from the porch at Scruff below eating from the chicken food.

It looked like he had gotten into some bobbed wire or had some sort of skin outbreak like a mange on the back of his neck. You can see that the skin is red and there is some bleeding. There is a puncture wound but nothing is torn open.

Detail of  the wound on the back of the orphan fawn

Detail of the wound on the back of the orphan fawn

I thought of capturing him and trying to get him to a veterinarian. But deer, especially fawns, have a built-in system of dying of shock when they are too stressed. I have tried to help injured fawns in past and they usually die  before I can get help for them.  It is part of the evolution of deer since fawns are the prime food for predators. They are dealt a hand of mercy that they die before they are eaten alive.

I did not expect to see Scruff again. But two weeks later he was sighted eating the acorns under the oak trees. He had lost his spots and the wound was drying up. He was alone and somehow surviving.

Several days later I saw him  trailing a herd of deer. It looks like the little guy might make it.

Note: October 8, 2013
This morning I saw Scruff running with the same herd I saw him with a week ago. It looks like he has been taken in. The herd consists of an older female with two fawns born this year, two yearling females from last year, and a yearling buck attracted by the scent of the older female. 

Continued at More on Scruff.


Posted on October 7, 2013, in Psi Keep Center for the Arts, Uncategorized, Wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Keep your PSI on the Mushroom Wedding Arch. It sounds like it needs much work before winter sets in.


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