Fawn Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Today’s photo is of a Whitetail Fawn I photographed last summer (July 24, 2022). I spotted a Whitetail Doe and this Fawn walking on the edge of a slough across from Miner’s Cove. This was at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I saw them a little after 8:00 A.M. and it was already hot. They both looked hot, and the Fawn looks like it maybe panting. After I got this photo of the Fawn walking on the edge of the slough, it went into the nearby trees. My guess is that they were going to a cool place to bed.

Whitetail Fawn Panting On A Hot Summer Day
Whitetail Fawn Panting On A Hot Summer Day

Whitetail deer have some interesting adaptations to deal with the heat of summer. One thing they do is seek out shady, wooded areas to bed during the heat of the day. The shade helps keep their body temperature down. They may also bed near water sources like this slough, where they can take a cooling dip if needed. Panting, like this fawn appears to be doing, is another way deer cool themselves. The rapid breathing brings cool air into their lungs and releases heat. Deer also have a lot of blood vessels in their ears, so blood circulates close to the surface where heat can dissipate. You may see deer holding their ears out away from their heads on hot days to help release body heat. Staying well-hydrated is important too, so deer drink frequently and eat moist vegetation.

Getting out early, like these deer, is a good strategy to minimize heat stress. Their light tan summer coat also helps reflect heat. While out in the open, deer often walk slowly to minimize exertion and heat production. All of these adaptations help Whitetail deer thrive even during the hot Oklahoma summers! I feel fortunate to have captured this fawn’s experience on a steamy July morning.

Equipment Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Technical Details:

  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: July 24, 2022 (08:11 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/400
  • ISO: 1600 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: 0
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

Related Posts:

Whitetail Does and Fawn Amidst Lotus Leaves

Whitetail Doe And Fawn Reflection

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