A Three-Legged Doe Makes the Kentucky Garden Her Home


As a child, I remember my dad going deer hunting every weekend in deer season. It wasn’t until a fawn walked into our yard that he thought back to the thrill of the hunt.

Once the fawn started coming over, dad got a salt block to put in the yard. The young deer got so used to us that he let us pet him. It was like touching a magical creature and I could see it changing my dad’s thinking about hunting.

After a few months, she did not return to the yard. We always wondered what happened to her and if she had possibly been hit by a car. My parents thought that if she had been hit, we would never see her again.

But could she have survived?

Can a deer survive being hit by a car?

According to Hearts A Fire Deer Rescue,

Deer rarely survive a collision, but sometimes their injuries can be healed and the animal can be saved with your help. If the deer flees the scene, you’ll probably never see him again. If he is injured and still in place, you can visually inspect him for injuries.

If she had been injured and not killed, could she have survived with an injury that would prevent her from walking and running?

Can a deer survive with three legs?

It would seem almost impossible that a deer could live with only three legs. Trying to stay safe from predators and hunters seems to be so difficult.

But, they can not only survive but thrive in the right situation. The Bangor Daily News interviewed Nathan Bieber, the deer biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and he had this to say,


Deer can live well on three legs in many cases. Losing a limb or several limbs certainly makes life more difficult, but deer are very resilient creatures. If food and shelter are readily available, deer are more likely to thrive.

Video of Three Legged Deer Feeding in the Kentucky Backyard

John had this to say about the incredible deer in his yard,

Here is a video of a three-legged doe that has lived on our farm for four years. She is a wild deer and stayed pretty close to our house and didn’t stray too far. I’m very surprised she survived this long with the coyotes around. Anyone who hunts the farm is prohibited from harvesting it. Thought it would be a good watch for some.
– John Michael Fremow

Even with a missing leg, she moves, yes a little slower, but with grace and beauty.

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