A doe and her fawn are an adorable sight. A doe usually gives birth to one or two fawns in the spring. When they are born, most fawns are covered with white spots. This helps them hide in tall grass. When they are just a week or two old, the curious fawns begin following their mothers everywhere.

As the fawns grow older, the mothers continue to protect them and help them find food, staying with them for at least a full year. By then, the young deer are almost as tall as their mothers. Most of them have lost their spots, and young male deer are ready to grow their first antlers. When they are a year old, both males and females are ready to become independent adults.

Fully grown, the strong, graceful body of a deer is built for living in a dangerous world. On its long, thin legs a deer can outrun wolves and mountain lions. It can turn and jump at top speed, even in a dense forest. If it has to, the deer can defend itself, too. Its hard, pointed hooves can deliver a painful kick. If nothing else works, a male deer may use its antlers to fight off an attacker. Speed is a deer’s best defense, and a deer will always run from danger if it gets the chance. That is why deer have excellent senses—to warn them when danger is near.