The shadows were getting long when I first spotted this female White-tailed Deer. Nightfall was less than an hour away, and this doe was getting an early start on her evening browsing. A White-tailed Deer’s camouflage is very effective under these kind of lighting conditions, as you can see in the photographs below.

This doe looks a little plump to me, and she may be pregnant. We are rapidly approaching the time of year for new fawns! Here is what Wikipedia has to say about White-tailed Deer reproduction:

Females enter estrus, colloquially called the rut, in the autumn, normally in late October or early November, triggered mainly by the declining photoperiod. Sexual maturation of females depends on population density as well as availability of food. Young females will often flee from an area heavily populated with males. Females can mature in their first year,although this is unusual and would occur only at very low population levels. Most females mature at 1–2 years of age. Most are not able to reproduce until six months after they mature. Copulation consists of an ejaculatory thrust which takes place during a brief copulatory jump.

Females give birth to 1–3 spotted young, known as fawns, in mid to late spring, generally in May or June. Fawns lose their spots during the first summer and will weigh from 44 to 77 pounds (20 to 35 kg) by the first winter. Male fawns tend to be slightly larger and heavier than females. For the first four weeks, fawns mostly lie still and hide in vegetation while their mothers forage. They are then able to follow their mothers on foraging trips. They are supposedly weaned after 8–10 weeks, but cases have been seen where mothers have continued to allow nursing long after the fawns have lost their spots (for several months, or until the end of fall) as seen by rehabilitators and other studies. Males will leave their mothers after a year and females leave after two.

Bucks are generally sexually mature at 1.5 years old and will begin to breed even in populations stacked with older bucks.

white-taileddeer-lastlight-001

white-taileddeer-lastlight-002