Find A Baby Deer? Let It Be
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a message for folks who come across an unattended baby deer in the wild.
If you care, leave it there.
June is the peak season for people encountering white-tailed deer fawns. Conservation officers say that if you see a fawn that appears to be abandoned, leave it be because its mother is likely out looking for food.
“It’s common to see fawns by themselves,” says Michelle Cain with the IDNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “A mother deer will leave a fawn during the day, both to look for food and so her scent doesn’t attract predators to the fawn, which is nearly scentless. People often mistake a fawn as abandoned when, in fact, it is being properly cared for by its mother.”
Cain says people who find a fawn should give distance. A mother deer will not return to her baby if she sees a human – which deer view as predators – is present. The mother usually returns at night.
Regarding injured fawns, Cain says to leave them be and let nature take its course. If you feel compelled to intervene then call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, she adds. A list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators and their phone numbers is at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/5492.htm.
Other reasons to leave a deer fawn be include the potential for disease and the law. Keeping a wild animal without the proper permits is illegal.