Wildlife across our state is busy this time of year. Baby birds are hatching, butterflies are emerging from cocoons and mother deer are conceiving fawns – which is often a problem when nosy humans get involved. People see what they think are abandoned fawns, take them home and often call the Wildlife Center or Animal Control people for help. In almost every instance, the fawns are not abandoned, the mother deer are close by and things would be just fine if humans would just mind their own business.
Through instinct, the mother deer understand that they have an odor that attracts predators, but the fawns? Not so much. Therefore, the does stay away from their young, attending to them only very early and late in the day. When humans stumble across a fawn, they look around, don’t see the mother and assume the worst.
But the worst thing a person can do is try to care for the young deer.
Does often have their young in strange places. Sometimes it’s in a grown-up field, but it might be in your own back yard. I have a friend who has a small farm and says that the same mother deer comes to her back yard within her fence each May to have her fawns. That deer recognized her place as being safe from dogs and coyotes.
The deer rut occurs each November, then sometimes again in December. It takes about 6 months for gestation, so the next month or two will produce many newborn deer. If you see one, admire its beauty from a distance, then step away.
And leave it alone.