White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) live throughout the state, from northern forests to southern farmland. Just about everyone in Minnesota has seen a white-tailed deer. But not everyone is lucky enough to see a young deer being born. Female deer, or does, are excellent mothers.
Starting as early as 1 year old, a doe will have one, two, or three fawns each spring. Typically, does that are 2 years old and older have twins. In most parts of the state, half of the fawns born are males and half are females.
Does are social animals. Most of the year, they live in small family groups. As a doe prepares to give birth, she finds a hidden spot away from other deer.
State parks have good habitat (food and shelter) for deer. You might see a deer if you find a deer trail and sit quietly nearby. Or watch for deer by walking quietly in the woods. If you encounter a fawn, keep your distance, stay quiet, and slowly move away without disturbing it. Seeing a fawn in hiding is a special experience.
Photographer Chris Thayer visited Fort Snelling State Park one spring day and spotted a doe giving birth to a fawn. Quietly, he moved away and hid behind bushes as he took this series of photographs of the fawn's first day.