Orphaned Wildlife:  Deer

Q: I found a fawn all alone – is he orphaned?

A: People mistakenly assume that a fawn is orphaned if found alone.  Rest assured that the mother deer is nearby.  The doe will only visit and nurse her fawn a few times a day to avoid attracting predators.  At four weeks old, the fawn will begin to travel with his mother.  Just leave the fawn alone unless you know that the mother is dead.  Mother deer are wary of human smells; if you have already handled the fawn, take a towel, rub it in the grass, and then wipe down the fawn to remove all human scent.  Using gloves, promptly return the fawn to where he was found.

However, if the fawn is lying on his side, or wandering and crying incessantly, he may be orphaned.  If this is the case, call your local fish and game agency to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator near you.  But remember, a fawn found alone and quiet is OK!