June 19, 2009
Wolfing One Down...
By Scott Bestul
Last month I posted a pic of a fawn I’d found while enjoying a turkey hunting northern Wisconsin’s “big woods” region. In that post I mentioned the gauntlet of predators that young whitetail would have to run in order to survive to adulthood. Bears, bobcats, coyotes, even fishers are known to kill fawns.
But the alpha predator of Upper Midwestern deer lately is the timber wolf. This trail cam photo, dated only a few days ago, was sent to me by a Wisconsin buddy from the same region I turkey hunted. In the message, he noted that just days before his camera had captured a pic of a doe with her young fawn. This photo suggests that doe is now traveling solo. Assuming this photo has not been doctored in any way (I have no reason to believe it was), it’s pretty rare stuff.
Life is tough for young wildlife! Here in farm country, my neighbors just cut their first crop of hay, an event that always takes its share of fawns. One of the nesting robins in my backyard recently lost her four soon-to-hatch eggs to what I assume was a raccoon. Events like these remind me that survival is a day-by-day affair out there...and makes me appreciate the adults that manage to carry on the species.