It didn’t take long once we moved to the country for our kids to start exploring. Turns out, our neighbors son and ours stumbled on a baby fawn one afternoon. Unfortunately, we didn’t think to have the conversation of “what to do” if you come across a baby deer!?
This poor girl was just a few days old and had what they call “scours” (a fancy word for very runny diarrhea). Every year, wildlife departments and wildlife rehabilitators receive calls about “orphaned” fawns. Callers are told that in the spring it is a perfectly natural occurrence to come across a fawn that is seemingly by itself in the woods.The fawn is probably not alone; its mother is nearby, aware, and attentive. The kids didn’t see the mom and heard the baby crying so, they approached her. They had no idea by touching her, they had potentially condemned her to abandonment by the mother. Does don’t like human scent. If you have handled a fawn, rub an old towel in the grass and wipe the fawn to remove human scent. Using gloves, return the fawn to where it was found. Fawns can often be returned to their mothers if taken back to where they were found within eight hours. Again, this would have been great knowledge for our children had we realized this was a possibility out here! Moving from a big city, we quickly realized there were many conversations we were about to have with the kids…
After feeding the fawn goats milk for a few days and attempting to track down someone who could take her and rehabilitate her back into the wild I was almost ready to give up and raise her myself! (Powdered supplements they make for deer are not a good option; fresh goats milk is always better!) This was the most difficult challenge for us, locating the right person for the job! We first called the game warden who passed us a few numbers to try. It took me about 3 days to locate the proper facility and prepare our baby deer for transfer to her new home.
We arranged to meet and do the exchange. Our large dog kennel worked best, covered with a tarp for shade and a blanket for comfort. We took this sweet girl to her new home and we have since learned she’s doing just fine.
If you have found what seems to be an abandoned fawn, do not touch it! Keep a distant eye on it over the course of 8 hours. If the mama doesn’t return within 8 hours, it is most likely sick or injured. Does will only abandon their young for those two reasons. Take care when handling a wild animal and contact your local Game Warden or Fish and Wildlife Dept. to get better direction.