Texas hunter Marlin Smith captured these extraordinary whitetail deer pictures on his trail camera in Oklahoma.
Here is an excerpt from a publication we have posted on our website:
Predators kill most deer during their first summer (birth to approximately 12 weeks of age). We reported this in our own study during the summers of 2000 and 2001 when we radio-tagged over 200 fawns and monitored them closely to measure cause-specific mortality. Of the fawns killed by predators in our study, 84 percent were killed prior to 9 weeks of age. Coyotes and bears killed similar numbers of fawns. In the South Carolina study, 100 percent of fawns killed by predators were killed within 9 weeks of birth. Despite predation and other mortality causes, 57 to 72 percent of fawns were still alive in Pennsylvania at 9 weeks of age.
Predators have less effect on older deer. In Pennsylvania, the Game Commission has monitored over 1,500 radio-collared deer aged 6 months and older. Based on hundreds of recorded mortalities of radio-collared older deer, less than 1 percent was caused by predators. Outside of hunting seasons, deer older than 6 months have survival rates of 80 to 90 percent in Pennsylvania.