I couldn’t help but smile when I spotted this whitetail doe crouching behind a fallen log at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. Always prepared, I quickly snapped a photo of the serene scene before me. While it was clear she was urinating, a doe may squat for various reasons.

Whitetail Doe Squatting Behind Log

Whitetail Doe Squatting Behind Log

**Why Do Whitetail Does Squat?**

Urination. A doe squatting to pee is a common sight. Like all animals, does must eliminate waste. Squatting allows them to do so easily. It also marks their territory, letting other deer know the area is claimed.

Birthing. Does give birth to fawns in spring and early summer. When the time comes, they squat low to deliver their young. This is when does are most protective, so it’s wise to keep your distance.

Mating. A doe squatting can signal readiness to breed during estrus. It communicates to male and female deer that she is fertile and the area is occupied.

Health Issues. Occasionally, discomfort from digestive troubles may cause a doe to squat. This squatting behavior could indicate a health problem.

The graceful doe exemplified tranquility as she tended to her natural needs. While snapping photos, I was careful to enjoy the scene from afar and not disturb her. Whether urinating, birthing, breeding, or dealing with a health issue, squatting is an important part of the whitetail doe’s life in the wild.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: July 24, 2022 (07:35 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/500
  • ISO: 1600
  • Exposure Compensation: 0
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

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