I have several bird feeding stations in my yard and they are a delight to watch. Two are outside my windows in my computer room, so I can watch all day. I also have a fig tree and several pear trees. One day last year I looked up and was shocked to see a white-tail deer near one of the feeders eating fallen pears. She was so beautiful. The very next day I had cracked corn and apples added to the feeding station.
To my surprise she came back and seem to really enjoy the corn and apples. I named her Doreen. I recognized her by the nick in her right ear.
Day after day she returned and munched on corn and apples. Of course I wanted to train her to eat out of my hand, but I live in an area where deer hunting is a favorite pastime. I didn’t think it was a good idea to take away any fear of humans that she had. Normally hunters can only take bucks, but we do have a doe season, too. Bow hunters and primitive hunters can take buck or doe.
I guess Doreen felt safe visiting my feeding station. I often wondered why no other deer came with her, so I was delighted when she brought her fawn with her. The fawn didn’t come everyday; she came maybe two or three times a week.
At least that is what I first thought until the day Doreen brought two fawns with her. Over the next week or two, she would bring one and sometime two of her fawns. They were a bit skittish and so cute. Then, OMGosh, she arrived with three fawns in tow.
I never understood why, but she seldom brought all three with her, usually just one at a time, less frequently two. As they grew older, Doreen and all three visited, and occasionally another doe joined the group. The fawn frisked about from time to time and chased each other. They reminded me of puppies. Sadly, when hunting season came, they all disappeared and I haven’t seen them for months. I know someone was still visiting the feeding station because I could see evidence of the corn and apples being eaten.
” You really missed your chance! Venison for Thanksgiving would have been so good.”
“KEVIN, shut up. I would never hurt Doreen and her kids!,” I yelled at him.
“Come on, you have eaten venison before. And what about those venison sausages you love?”
“I don’t want to talk about it. Those were just packages brought over by a friend.”
“Look idiot, a deer had to die before you could eat those sausages.”
“Go away! I can’t deal with you right now. And I especially do not want to think about eating.”
Where was I. Oh yes…
I kept putting corn out, but less and less was eaten. Yesterday, I was delighted to see deer approach the feeding station. One, then two, then three. None were Doreen and these didn’t seem quite large enough to be full grown, so I hoped they were Doreen’s fawn. I almost hollered when I saw her; Doreen with her nicked ear approached the feeding station. And last but not least another doe arrived. All were still in their gray winter coats, but I suspect they will be reddish brown in no time. I know one of Doreen’s fawn was a male, but none of these were male. I suspect that two of the group were Doreen’s and the third was the second doe’s. The female fawn will stay with Mom for about 2 years, but the males only hang around for a year.
I was so happy to see them. I had worried that something may have happened to them.
What a heart warming story. My emotions went up and down through it all:-) These are wonderful photos Skip. Keep them all safe!!!!!! The word is out that this is the feeding station to be in.
My emotions went up and down, too. I am flying high now. It was so good to see them. I have replenished the corn and added apples. I hope they stay for a while.
Oh fantastic, Skip! Doreen and the fawns are beautiful. I’m so glad they are back. Thanks so much for sharing.
How are your deer doing? I think those “English” deer are so sweet.
We had two young Roe bucks this morning, munching the dandelions before they seed, which is quite useful of them. But now we’ve got four! One doe and three younger ones. So pretty! I think our resident mum is back, with her offspring of the last couple of years. So the Hunt didn’t scare them completely away.
I am glad you are having so many. Doreen and her clan came in the middle of the night again. I didn’t see them, but at least I know they are fine.
Rummaging around in your older posts refreshing my memory and looking for ‘tidbits’! Have to laugh because I hadn’t seen Doreen and her clan until now…so I have to share about my clan! I have a huge flower garden and four bird feeders in my back yard. Last year I noticed that the tender tops and flowers of some of my plants were missing. I had blamed the desecration on the pesky groundhog, only later to discover that it was deer. This year, I noticed that my birdseed was suddenly disappearing…since the feeders are hung relatively high I was perplexed as to how a whole tube could have disappeared that quickly over night. Late one night I caught my clan in the act…mystery solved! Who would have thought since I live in the city!!! Seeing your photos reminded me of my ‘Mystery of the Disappearing Bird Seed Incident’!!
Hope you are still enjoying visits from your clan…
I haven’t seen Doreen in a while. She has a notched ear so is easily recognized. However, yesterday, I saw a doe coming to the feeding station looking for apples I’m sure. I think she may be one of Doreen’s offspring because she seemed so at home. My figs are fruiting and the deer love them. The racoons and possums raid my bird feeders that contain sunflower seeds, so I try to leave enough on the floor of the bridge for them. One night there was a Mommy and two baby raccoons. I went out to get a closer look and Mommy ran, but the two babies got on top of the bridge cover. It was fun getting a closer look.