Hands Off is Best During Fawning Season
Often during this time of year wildlife management organizations receive a high volume of calls from concerned folks who have observed a lone fawn. Many fawns are removed from their location and brought to people’s homes or to animal rehabilitation services in an attempt to “rescue” the animal.
If you find a lone fawn while out walking, it is important not to touch or remove it. A doe will often leave her fawn alone during the day. Since the fawns are born scentless and are camouflaged by their spots, leaving the fawns alone is safer than having them forage with their mothers as they cannot effectively run from predators.
Removing a fawn from its habitat is illegal in many states and disturbing the fawn will likely cause more harm than good. Fawns that have been removed from the wild often must be euthanized either because of concerns regarding disease transmission or because they will no longer be accepted by their mothers.
Deer fawning season begins in late spring and lasts through the early part of the summer. The highest concentration of births happens during the last week of May and the first week of June.
The ideal habitat for fawning deer is moderate to high grass areas, or brushy areas in young forests. This dense herbaceous habitat provides good coverage which aids in concealing the fawns from predators. It also provides an adequate place for the doe to forage, which enables her to produce the milk she needs to raise healthy fawns.
So, if you see a fawning deer, try not to disturb it. The doe has taken great care to ensure the fawn is in a protected area. Chances are she is watching from afar, and will return shortly. Quietly leaving the area without disturbing the fawn will in fact increase its chance of survival.
If you have any questions about deer on your land conserved by the Brandywine Conservancy or, would like more information about our Land Stewardship program please contact our Easement Manager, Kristen Frentzel, at [email protected] or 610-388-8391.