Study Looks at What Causes Most Fawn Deaths

This study could give you some ideas on how to help preserve the future of your deer herd.

It seems like you can't drive anywhere without seeing a dead deer. And, that applies more to fawns than any other group of deer this time of the year. Have you ever wondered what actually causes most fawn deaths? Well, a Penn State study has some answers for you.

First, you need to know that deer fatalities are categorized into three groups. There are human-caused deaths, predation and natural causes that aren't predation. So, think of the last group as starvation, disease or drowning. Human-caused deaths are those that are of a direct result of human interaction, such as getting caught in a fence or hit by a combine. And finally, predation is the easiest to grasp, as all deaths linked to predators.

Collectively, in the 29 populations the study focused on, the main killer turned out to be predators.

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However, the second leading cause of fawn deaths was surprising. Natural causes made up for about 20 percent of fawn deaths. Human-caused deaths barely scratched the surface at around 10 percent, if that.

So, it's good to know human-deer conflicts aren't having too much of an impact on populations. On the other hand, predators clearly are.

So what can you do to increase you fawn numbers? Well, you could always start trapping and predator hunting!