White-tailed deer fawning can last many months. Sometimes people assume a fawn they find by itself has been abandoned and they try to “rescue” it. But instead of trying to rescue it, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) advises that you leave it alone.
During the first few weeks of a fawn’s life, a doe will hide her offspring then move to a safe distance to prevent her scent from attracting predators to the young animal’s hiding spot. She’ll return often to nurse and care for the fawn. While hidden, the baby deer might lie motionless as a survival mechanism to deter predators. But sometimes people mistakenly think a fawn’s lack of movement means it’s sick or injured, prompting them to remove the animal to get it help.
If you find a fawn that you think is abandoned, do not touch it, pick it up or remove it from its natural environment. Instead, leave it alone and quietly move away from the area. If you come across a fawn and need additional direction, you can contact the appropriate FWC Regional Office for assistance.
With the detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Florida, The FWC has instituted new management actions within a defined zone to limit the spread of the disease. The rehabilitation of deer within that zone is prohibited by a new executive order.
Additional information on what to do if you find what appears to be injured or orphaned wildlife can be found at MyFWC.com/conservation and clicking “How You Can Conserve” then “Living with Wildlife and Preventing Wildlife Conflicts” then “Injured and Orphaned Wildlife.”