A Hero for Deer

A Hero for Deer

By Chloe Litzen

Heather Taylor spotted something fuzzy and small nestled into the corner of her mother’s backyard. Driving a large, noisy lawn mower, Taylor could not believe the creature stayed still. She got a little closer to see if it was alive, and when she was close enough she finally saw what it was; In the grass was a very young baby fawn, all alone.

Growing up with a hunting background, Taylor was no stranger to deer and other prairie wildlife. She understood “there was probably a mom around,” so she decided to leave the baby fawn alone. She went on with the lawn care, all while the deer remained still and unfazed by the noisy environment. Getting as close as ten yards to the fawn, Taylor believed that the baby maybe thought it was invisible.

“When I got really close to it and looked it right in the eyes, the fawn stared back at me, completely still, only moving it’s nostrils.”

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Regional Terrestrial Resource Supervisor, Josh Delger, explained that, “newborn fawns are left alone by design. Fawns have to hide from predators because they are not strong enough to outrun them yet. In fact, newborn fawns spend more than 95% of their time hiding, and the spotted coat of these fawns helps to keep them camouflaged.”

Curious, Taylor decided to document the fawn with several pictures throughout the day. The first picture was taken around 10 a.m. and the second picture was taken at 4 p.m.

 

 

 

 

The whole day went by and there was no sign of the fawn moving or a mother. When neighbor kids came over after school, their first reaction was “the fawn has been abandoned! Let’s go feed it.”

“I remember my friend Thea at The Outdoor Campus telling me about all the kids picking up baby animals. The best thing to do for these babies is to NOT touch them, and leave them be,” Taylor said.

Then, at 8 p.m., something beautiful and natural happened. The mother of the fawn returned to gather and feed its baby. The two walked off in bliss towards the shelter belt of trees surrounding the property.

 

 

 

“It’s solid proof that animals are designed to survive in the wild,” said Taylor. “I had fun telling my kids, ‘See, listen to your mom when she puts you somewhere,’ because that’s exactly what this fawn did and it remained safe and hidden for ten hours.”

The documentation of this natural process was fun and exciting for Taylor. “If you have wildlife in your area, don’t bug it, keep watching it. It’s a really great experience.”

These are the types of stories we like to hear at The Outdoor Campus. 

SD Game, Fish and Parks always encourages people to leave baby animals in the wild. “If you care, leave it there,” Delger said. “This is a perfect example. People left the baby alone and the mother came back to get it. That’s what’s supposed to happen.”

 

 

 

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Our Fishing Friends

What does The Outdoor Campus love more than fishing? Teaching people to fish! Being able to organize and support fishing lessons for all ages has been such a rewarding experience for us. Sharing that moment with someone who has just hooked a fish is exhilarating; and the gratitude people share with us is so special.

Kids are especially fun during this time, and we receive a lot of cute and giggle worthy thank you letters from these young anglers. Let’s take a look at some example of why we here at The Outdoor Campus love our jobs!

This letter came from one of our young anglers who had a hard time practicing patience.

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“Dear Outdoor Campus, what I learned is how to fish. You haved to wat intell the fish gets the hook you can’t just ceep on taking it out of the water.”

 

This young angler was so excited to learn something new because it will make her smarter and be successful in her life. #TheMoreYouKnow

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“Dear, outdoor campus, Thank you for teaching me how to fish. I learned you have to wher sunglase’s to proctect your eye’s. anyway that I didin’t catch any fish I still had lot’s of fun, because I learned something new and that thing that I learned¬† is fishing. I like to learn new thing’s every day, because then when I grow up I will have a good job. And I will be smart.”

 

This kid learned all about fishing safety and proper eye protection. He also made it known that his brother doesn’t always follow the rules!

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“Dear Outdoor Campus, thank you for teaching us how to fish. I Learned that you half to where sun glasses or glasses when you go fishing so you don’t get stabed in the eye while you are fishing. P.S. My brother doesen’t where glasses when he’s fishing.”

 

We also get excited when kids remember the types of fish we teach. This student listed four types of fish in our pond, as well as an illustration of each!

“Dear Outdoor campus, some thing I liked is when we practiced fishing. There are four fish I rememder small mouth Bass and Big mouth Bouth. also the sun fish and the catfish. that is what I liked.”

 

Also, we get some incredible, original artwork from these students. Did we hear someone say Picasso?

We can’t wait to meet all the new young and old anglers this summer! Thank you all for the continuous support and gratitude; now, it’s time to go fishing! #YoungAnglers #Fishing #MySDTradition