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Ask The Times: Fewer deer seen because they're giving birth
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Is there any way to find out if the deer population in my area of town has moved or reduced? On most days, there are eight to 10 deer in my yard. However, the past five days or so, I haven’t seen any at all.

The Department of Natural Resources doesn’t monitor deer population at the neighborhood level, according to Rick Lavender, communications and outreach specialist for the Wildlife Resources Division of the DNR.

That said, they do follow wildlife disease issues and reports of multiple sick or dead animals, said Scott Frazier, a DNR wildlife biologist in the Northeast Georgia region.

“We’re aware of no such issues currently in Hall County,” he said.

Frazier said the time of year may be a factor in why the deer seem to have disappeared.

“In general, May is a time when deer are giving birth. It’s likely that most of the deer the homeowner had been seeing are does,” he said. “During parturition, does separate themselves and find a suitable place for giving birth.”

Does and their young may stay separated from a couple of weeks to a month.

“Once the fawns, or young, are fully mobile, the does usually come back together and will again be seen in groups, with the addition of some new fawns,” Frazier said.

During the period when does are giving birth and shortly thereafter, they can become somewhat aggressive — usually protecting a fawn that is hidden, Frazier said.

Anyone noticing such behavior should give that doe a wide berth and use caution, he warned.

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