This movie has a double meaning, is the yearling the deer, or is the yearling the boy. Here we have a family living on the frontier. They have had hardship, with two babies passing away. They have one son remaining. Mother (Jane Wyman) is embittered by the deaths, while father (Gregory Peck) does what he can to bring her out of her depression. Their son, Jody (Claude Jarmon Jr.), is caught in the middle. During this film, Jody grows up considerable. Part of that growing, he takes over more and more of the farming work as his father is laid up. His father allows him to adopt a fawn. This does great wonders for his esteem; however when the deer starts eating everything they plant, their lives are at stake. The deer just won't learn different. The inevitable has to happen, but even so Jody runs off. He intends to make it to the river, but in the end he can't leave things this way and returns.
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