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White-tailed deer fawns are growing up -- but not as rapidly as some birds are able to accomplish that feat.

Born a mere eight-pound mammal, some are now three times that, and more, and will be about two-thirds the size of their mothers before they stop growing during the winter before resuming expansion in spring.

While not a fool-proof method, already there are size differences between many male and female fawns, best noticed in twins because a male is as much as one-third larger than the female. This is more difficult to determine when the two are the same gender or if there is a single fawn.

During the summer and fall the two twin fawns are often together and may or may not be with their biological mother all the time.

Related deer, grandmothers, mothers and daughters are loosely grouped, and the fawns of those females may feed together from time to time, too.

A fawn’s head changes as much as their bodies, getting longer-nosed rather quickly, particularly the male fawns.

Some tufts of hair sometimes begin to stand up where antler tips may protrude later in the year. If one could feel their heads, the hints of antlers would be more obvious.

A fawn’s spots are usually gone by the time archery season opens in mid-September. New hair replaces the older white hair spots, and the other hair, too. These changes coincide with the female adults’ coat changes going from ruddy to more tan-gray.

Male fawns are more likely to be alone or with what are clearly young buck deer than with their mothers and sisters.

Other than a torn ear, body scar, or other unusual marking most fawns seem to blend together by autumn, whereas bucks become more and more distinct, particularly with their antlers, but once the velvet is shed, some antler distinctions disappear, while others appear for the first time.

Contact Jerry Davis, a freelance writer from Barneveld, at sivadjam@mhtc.net or 608-924-1112.

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