April Strzelczyk, a senior biology major at Bemidji State University, is participating in a summer internship program at LaRoca Range Whitetails in Granbury, Texas.
The Carol Stream, Ill., native came to Bemidji State to study biology and applied for the internship through the job board at Texas A&M University. The internship started in May and lasts until August 1.
This is the first year that LaRoca Range Whitetails is breeding deer.
“I’m directing and guiding the bottle-feeding staff as well as participating in the actual duties — formula preparation, bottle feeding four times a day, stimulation, medical treatment, stall cleaning, record keeping of individual diet, and a little TLC to all of the fawns,” Strzelczyk says.
The fawns at LaRoca Range are anywhere between two days and three weeks old.
“Currently we are taking care of 31 fawns and are expected to have around 60 fawns by the end of the summer,” Strzelczyk says. “Although it is a ton of work and patience, it is well worth the hardships. Getting the chance to spend quality time with fawns, receiving hands-on experience on something I’m passionate about, learning how to manage a fawn nursery, and watching fawns grow up are all a part of this job’s numerous rewards.”
“Working with more than 30 fawns, you learn quickly that no two fawns are exactly alike,” she says. “Personalities come in all shapes and sizes that include shy, rebellious, outgoing, sweet, cuddly, bullying, energetic and much more. And some of the fawns have earned names due to their coat color or personality. A few include: Bambi, Dumbo, Baby Doll, Big Ben, Zorro, Duchess, Penny, Dirt, Dusk, Dawn, Midnight, Creeper, and Demon.”
Carol Stream | 60188 | April Strzelczyk, senior, biology