Arik Schmidt, 15, almost stepped on a baby deer Sunday in the woods near his farm home southwest of Hillsboro.
“I like to roam around in the woods every day, looking at birds and stuff,” Schmidt said. “I saw something up in the trees and wasn’t really looking down, but I stumbled on something. When I looked down, there it was.”
Schmidt was surprised to have nearly stepped on a baby deer. He said the spotted baby jumped up after the momentary surprise and took off. Later, Schmidt and his older brother went back to look for it.
“I couldn’t believe we found it again,” Schmidt said. “There was a place along the creek where they had established a home. The grass was all pushed down and you could see where they liked to lay.”
This time, Schmidt pulled out his phone and snapped a picture before the baby took off again.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen a baby deer up close,” he said. “It was really cool.”
According to information from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, many whitetail fawns are born in late May and early June. However, some does may breed for the first time in late winter, so people might see newborn fawns as late as July or August.
“We encourage the public to leave fawns in the wild,” KDWPT wildlife disease coordinator Shane Hesting said. “As we all know, lone fawns are seldom ‘orphaned’. The mother is usually nearby but out of sight, keeping watch. The risk of spreading disease should override the emotion of wanted to ‘save’ a fawn. Wild animals are better off left in the wild.”
Schmidt said he knew better than to try to catch the fawn and keep it.
“I just thought it was a really neat experience to see it,” he said.