I almost mowed over two fawns yesterday at my Ohio place.
This one was a few days old and ran into the hedgerow after I drove within ten feet. I snapped this pic and backed out quietly. The other ran out from under my tractor bucket while I was mowing the same field. The legs were wobbly so it was probably just a day old or so.
Haying equipment is one of the biggest hazards to fawns in farm country. I haven’t hit one, but every year I hear accounts of them getting run over by tractors, hay-bines, mowers and so on. There’s just little a farmer can do when it’s time to cut & bale in perfect weather.
Yesterday the grandsons went to their hidey hole in the woods next to the house and came back with a baby fawn. Then they brought it into the house and it got introduced to the cats and dogs and all went well. Then they got sent back to the woods with the fawn and hope the mother doesn't abandon it. If she does and the fawn is where the boys left it and still alive we could be raising an orphan fawn. They also put a trail camera on it to see if the mother does return. So far they have raised 2 pigeons, one baby skunk and 4 baby raccoons - all needed bottle feeding.
I found out the boys went out this morning and checked on the fawn and it was gone from where the boys laid her yesterday so we assume the doe moved it.
I don't brush-hog this time of the year for that very reason;had a couple close calls in the past.Also lots of birds and rabbits this time of year.My uses are only a hobby so it can wait. Local farmer kills 20-30 fawns a year haying:they hate it but have only so much time to get in the hay.
Used to hit them now and then with the swathers cutting alfalfa hay. Every other year or so. Makes a mess. Nearly hit a bear cub once but he stood up far enough away so I could see him. The fawns just lay and hide, sickles are out a ways in front so you're on em all at once rather than a rear mounted brush hog. Gotta look for "holes" in the alfalfa.
Got skunks ALL the time..... that'll really ruin your morning......
40 years ago it was somewhat uncommon to even see a fawn around here while mowing hay. Today the deer population is to the point that almost every guy who is mowing hay or bushhogging in May will hit a fawn(s) sooner or later. I feel bad for the fawn, but the truth is the deer herd won't miss the occasional loss.
Incidentally, there are add-on devices for tractors and hay mowers which help to flush wildlife (birds, rabbits, fawns etc) ahead of the machinery. I have no idea how useful they are, or how common.
I've seen a few fawns up and moving here in Pa. I mowed half of our hay fields over the weekend. I watched very carefully, saw many deer beds, but there were none in them. No rabbits either, probably because there's a family of red fox living under the shed this year. I did hit a bird nest, redwing blackbird, and a big crow took notice and came in to clean it up while being harassed by the parents.
My wife is a fawn magnet. She discovers more fawns than anyone I know. She’s found 4 so far this year. Like Pete in Fairbanks mentioned, I saw 3 different cow moose with new calves at their sides, up on the Haul Road last week.
It’s definitely a sickening feeling when you hit one. I hit my first one (that I know of) last year while mowing. I’ve come close a bunch more times, as well. Thankfully, no skunks yet, TD!