If you find an orphaned fawn, make sure that the fawn is actually orphaned: A mother will img_8119often leave her offspring hidden in some tall grass while she forages for food. Rather than considering this abandonment, this practice actually serves to attract less attention to the fawn, therefore decreasing the chances that a predator will find the baby. The spots on the fawn’s back serve as a form of camoflauge, giving the effect of dappled light. To protect themselves from predators, fawns have no scent for the first month of their lives and typically lay motionless to attract little attention.

If you are concerned that a fawn may be orphaned, periodically return to the site that the fawn is at to check on the fawn over the course of the next 24 hours. Do not stay around the baby, for mom will not reveal herself.

If the fawn if truly orphaned: Deer can die easily from stress and capture, even days after the event. Keep the animal a quiet dark area. Fawns should not be rescued unless they are injured or you are sure they are orphaned. Be sure to watch from a distance for at least 4-6 hours to see if the mother returns. If you rescue a fawn, be very careful–they can easily bolt and break their legs or back. You could also receive injury, such as a blow to your head or throat by a sharp hoof. Despite the size of their legs, fawns can be very strong. You might try wrapping a very small fawn in a blanket to control the legs. Additionally, do not keep, pet, or coddle the fawn. Fawns can become habituated to people very easily, which is dangerous to their survival and behavior as they age. If you find an injured or truly orphaned fawn, please call or bring it to your local wildlife hospital or rehabilitation facility immediately.  It is illegal to keep a fawn, and it is illegal to relocate, move, or bring in a fawn that is not orphaned. Make sure that it is indeed orphaned or injured!

If you have an injured adult: DO NOT try to move it. Adults are very strong and can be aggressive; they could also be hurt even more if they are attempted to be picked up or moved by someone that is not trained.

The WMC is only capable of taking in deer (fawns) up until they lose their spots; for sub-adult or adult deer, either contact your local law enforcement agency or animal control, a rehabilitator, or the large animal clinic at 217-333-2000.