No Scent? No Kidding!
Nature never ceases to amaze me! When I first discovered this phenomenon, it was while reading to my small children, all of which are now grown. The book: "Lost in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy" by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick.
The brief explanation is that the infant animal has no scent when born. When you see a newborn fawn all on its own, it has not been abandoned, but Mama is watching closely from a safe distance. Predators can smell the mother but not the baby. It is for protection that she leaves her newborn.
Our family home is basically in a forest. Deer come and go often - if they stay to the back yard and away from my hostas and flowers, I'm happy to see them! Over the years we have had the priviledge to stand guard many times as mother deer will drop their babies off at the edge of the woods safely nestled in the tangled ivy that is our backyard groundcover. Although this is not rare, it still shocks and amazes me every time!
On this particular Saturday morning, we were out working in the yard and it was only when going to drop branches into the ravine that I noticed this little beauty. That evening when it was almost dark, I was worried that the mother had not arrived yet and I went out to check on the baby. I nearly ran smack into the mama and two other adolescent deer on the path. Startling all of us, I jumped, and the three older deer went bounding into the woods as the baby got up on its wobbly legs and staggered on through the brush towards them.
I consider it an honor and a great priviledge that the mama deer find our yard to be a haven and place their little ones will be safe. I look forward to the next time we get to babysit!