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  • Writer's pictureTerry Wise

For Whitetail Deer, Life Continues on Carillon Stonegate Pond.

The vibrancy of the ecosystem around Carillon Stonegate Ponds (Aurora, IL) is amazing to observe across the seasons. Much thanks goes to the Kane County Forest Preserve staff and to the Stonegate at Carillon community.

Last winter, we watched a small herd of Whitetail Deer roam the pond shoreline for food. Their brownish-grey coats blending in well with the tall grass and other vegetation.

Whitetail Deer grazing on Carillon Stonegate Pond (2/15/2019)

And, in July, we saw the first Whitetail fawn emerge from the lush green vegetation along the north shoreline of Carillon Stonegate Pond. Whitetail deer fawns are normally born sometime in April or May, so this fawn was approximately 2 or 3 months old. Fawns are reddish-brown at birth with white spots that help camouflage them. But, against these bright green wildflowers, this fawn stood out. It roamed the shoreline for approximately 15 minutes before it ran back into the woods. New life begins here - again!

First Whitetail Fawn sighting of 2019 (7/2/2019)

And, by August, our young fawn has grown steadily. The spots of its youth are still present.

Whitetail Fawn (8/4/2019)

In early September, we see the transformation of this fawn's coat as its white spots begin to fade away.

Whitetail Fawn "losing" its baby spots (9/4/2019)

By mid-September, our young deer continues to grow and to change coloring. The Whitetail deer turns grayish brown in late summer. This change in color happens very quickly, usually in a matter of weeks.

Whitetail Fawn (9/12/2019)

By late September, this change in coloration is nearly complete. Their changing coat colors help them to camouflage in different seasons.

Whitetail Deer at Carillon Stonegate Pond ((9/20/2019)

In October, a young buck developing a set of antlers is seen grazing along the banks of Carillon Stonegate Pond. Is this the same deer that we have been observing all summer? Male deer, or bucks, are easily identified in the fall by their prominent set of antlers. Antlers grow rapidly, up to ½ inch per day. Antlers are grown annually and, after breeding, fall off in the winter. The size of a deer’s antlers is not an indication of age, rather it reflects the genetics, nutrition and health of the animal.

Whitetail Deer buck with New Antlers (10/20/2019)

The Carillon at Stonegate community is very fortunate to have a variety of wetland, forest and prairie environments conducive to a variety of plants, birds and wildlife. Our community and the Kane County Forest Preserve does an exceptional job in maintaining this natural environment – both for the benefit of the birds and wildlife and for our residents to enjoy.

Take a hike and see what you can find – and identify!

Visit Life on CSG Pond to learn more.

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