Leave Them Alone

Have you ever heard the story about the fawn being placed on the petal-covered steps by its mother? The petals nicely matched the spots on the fawn, providing some pretty effective camouflage.

While this is a very beautiful story, there are some questions as to its validity. I have no idea if it is true, and I don’t care. I relayed the story to reveal an important aspect of deer biology, because if the story is true, the Oregon family definitely did one thing right: They left the fawn alone.

Summer is when fawns are born, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks recently issued a press release reminding people that “if you encounter a fawn, do not pick it up. Leave it alone!”

This is great advice, since does often hide their fawns for hours at a time. In fact, sometimes does will stay away continuously except to come back and nurse their young ones a few times a day. If you touch a fawn in the wild, the mother could very well abandon it and leave it to the mercy of an unrelenting Mother Nature. Also, in most states it is illegal to possess wild animals and doing so could get you in a great deal of trouble.

Summer is a great time to be in the woods, whether monitoring herds, enhancing habitat or just having fun, but please be aware that young deer are out there as well, and you should leave them alone. Who knows, the one you touch might have grown up to become your biggest trophy.

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