A mama doe in eastern New York was photographed with five healthy fawns.
New York State Conservationist Magazine posted pictures taken by an Oneonta man named Barry Hogan that show five healthy fawns following and feeding with one doe.
While twins and even triplets are common in whitetail deer, five fawns is quite rare. According to the NYSCM Facebook page, “Our best guess is that the doe adopted/inherited at least a couple of the fawns, based on the differences in size and the fact that white-tailed deer normally have one to three fawns.”
In the cover picture, it looks as if if they all lining up to feed from the mama doe, so it is possible that she may have indeed had the rare quintuplets herself!
Since whitetails with five fawns have been recorded, albeit only a couple of times, it’s still in the realm of possibility that this doe had all these babies herself.
Certainly if all whitetail deer had this many offspring there would be more deer, but there would be more problems as well such as deer/car collisions, crop and landscape damage, and of course they would stopping way more deer slugs as well.
But those are easy to replace.
Photos via New York State Conservationist Magazine