A walk in the woods

We have had a brief lull between frigid cold and driving snow/sleet, and I took the opportunity to take a walk in the woods out beyond the backyard.  I didn’t get far before I saw the flash of white-tails disappearing into the denser stand of trees.  So I followed them.  Since the snow was old and crusty, my boots were very noisy as I crunched along in the ruts left by numerous deer and humans on the path.  Not the greatest conditions for sneaking up on wildlife.  But the deer actually didn’t seem to mind my approach and pretty much stood around in the same spot, foraging or chewing on what had been foraged, for quite a while.

deer in the woods

The youngster with the bright white throat in the back of this group stared at me the entire time.

The youngster with the bright white throat in the back of this group stared at me the entire time.

This was a small group of does and young of the year, who seemed unafraid of me even as I approached within 50 feet, close enough that I didn’t really even need the telephoto.

I have always thought all white-tailed deer looked alike, but getting so close to these youngsters allowed me to see some distinct differences.

Faun #1 - "white throat"

Fawn #1 – “white throat”

Fawn #2 - "scruffy"

Fawn #2 – “scruffy”

Fawn #1 has a more reddish coat color, a large white throat patch, and whitish hair around its eyes.  Fawn #2 has the same whitish hair around it eyes, and long reddish hair along the sides of its body, but less of a white throat patch.  I wonder if they are the fawns of this doe?  They stayed fairly close by her at all times.

This doe also has the whitish hair around her eyes.

This doe also has the whitish hair around her eyes.

Fawn #3 had dark hair around its eyes, and its coat was much browner than the other two.  It foraged alone, independent of the other does.

Fawn #3 - "brownie"

Fawn #3 – “brownie”

When I turned around to leave this happy group (because my toes were getting numb), the two fawns that I think might be twins followed me.  Although I don’t like the idea of feeding these deer, I wished I had some treat to give them for letting me invade their herd for a short time.

Hey, are you leaving?

Hey, are you leaving?

11 thoughts on “A walk in the woods

  1. Lovely photos – the deer here are much less flighty in winter, too. Maybe conserving energy, maybe knowing perfectly well they could outrun us in the snow.

    • I am not sure these deer wander far enough out of my suburban backyard and open space (translated – means unbuildable land) to get into trouble. We are pretty far from the nearest land where bow hunting is allowed.

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