Not long ago was spring; and springtime equals baby deer time. Coming upon this young buck at the edge of the bike trail was not unforeseen except that he was all alone.
My mind raced to a few minutes earlier when I had startled a coyote on my preferred path, the unpaved horse trail of the Forest Preserve. Spotting this young buck I watched for awhile always in awe of the delicate features of this wild beast, and all the while hoped “mom” would soon appear. She did not.
The nearest doe I would see that morning would be a quarter mile further on the trail. Hopefully he will survive in this “preserve” which is home to predator as well as prey. Such is life in the wild which we too often choose to forget.
This adolescent buck was also solo which is not so surprising. I have seen ones his age still accompany sister and mother; but independence is the natural progression on the timeline for bucks and he had begun his solo journey. Unlike his elders he allowed me to observe him, stopping only to be attentive when multiple persons passed at the same time.
As the trail became more inhabited he proceeded to disappear in the mature prairie summer growth. His survival instincts were in play.