After a healthy report from the annual deer herd health checks held earlier this year, biologists are expecting an extremely heavy fawn drop in the coming months. Births, or fawn drops, usually begin in Mississippi in late June (extreme north) and then peak in July and August before trailing off in September (extreme south).

According to new MDWFP deer project coordinator William McKinley, healthy does and productive does, and the state’s does appear to be in near peak condition.

“Our herd health checks showed exceptionally healthy deer,” he said. “We had very high fat indices; it’s going to lead to a higher reproductive rate.”

That’s good news that late last summer didn’t seem likely. Hard drought conditions that lasted well into the fall in most of the state had deer struggling to find healthy natural food sources. Then a huge acorn and other hard-mast crop started falling — make that raining — from the hardwoods and deer recovered quickly. A mild winter followed and that helped.

The plentiful hard mast and warm conditions also combined to keep deer hidden well into the season, reducing sightings by hunters, but that’s another story.