White-tailed deer are ubiquitous where I live, like pigeons in Manhattan. It’s easy to get so accustomed to them that you don’t notice them, other than when they are eating the landscaping or jumping in front of the car.

But then comes fawn season….

It’s all about the legs, baby.

A friend of mine calls these brand new fawns “poodle-sized”- it’s true, they are very tiny.

And remember, folks, if you find a fawn (or any other infant animal) by itself in the woods or the weeds: unless it is obviously badly injured or sick, LEAVE IT ALONE. Hundreds of fawns are separated from their grazing mothers by well-meaning humans every season. And if you find a fawn, don’t wait around for mom to come back, either. Don’t touch anything, just back away and let the little baby be, because the mom is likely nearby.

A recent study conducted by Texas rehabilitator Ann Connell found that, in some years, 40% or more of the deer fawns referred to her were not orphans or injured, but “kidnapped” from their mothers. Typically these incidents were well-meaning but misguided attempts to “save” seemingly abandoned fawns. Anecdotal data suggest that the situation for baby birds is similar or worse. These data indicate that such unnecessary referrals to rehabilitators are not only detrimental to the wildlife, but also disruptive and costly to wildlife rehabilitators during the time of year when they most need to concentrate limited resources on truly orphaned or injured wildlife.

4 Responses

  1. Virgotex, this is totally off subject to your post but I thought you might enjoy this link.


  2. thanks jk. I need to re-read that one when I’m not at work but it was great.

  3. A fawn was trapped in my fence and the dogs found it. The only way I could keep it from getting ripped apart was to pick it up and let it go outside the fence. I know its mother was long gone but what else could I have done? I knew that the cow-on-slits and his women would be back in the area so I hoped that they would let it be around them.

    Oh and BTW Shelby flushed a deer yesterday from my overgrown area not five feet from me. I never saw it until it started to run, it was big and wild and crazy to know it was there and I had no clue.

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if the mother deer didn’t reconnect with the baby.

    This little guy in the picture had already had a run-in with something- there was a big patch of hair missing from the front of his forehead. If you look in the bottom picture, it’s by his left eye.

    In general, deer are very skilled at being invisible to us

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