The white-tailed deer, Orocoileus virginianus, is the smallest of all the North American Deer species. They have a vast range and can be seen in much of the United States, central and western Canada, throughout Mexico, and even into the northern parts of South America. Here in South Carolina, being a rural state, we have a very high population of these deer. This was a baby deer I found on a paddle along Wambaw Creek in the Francis Marion National Forest. These deer are very adaptable and can live in a range of different habitats (there are even some on Kiawah Island, SC that are more like pets than wild animals). At first I thought this little one was injured because it was sitting on the side of a creek that had a healthy alligator population, and I didn’t see it’s mother anywhere. Upon further research I learned that for the first weeks after birth, the young fawn cannot keep up with the mother as she feeds during the day, so she finds it a safe place to lie her child down and relies on its camouflage to keep it safe. That is one main reason that they have white spots on their back as a fawn, but loose them as they get older. Since I thought it was injured, I tried to “save” it. This one stayed perfectly still until I got so close enough I could almost touch it, then it bolted off. I’m glad it was ok. I’m also glad I decided to take my nice camera on this paddle so I could capture this cute little one. Thanks for reading!!
Some facts about the South Carolina White-tailed Deer Population click here