Infant Deer Emergency
If you find an infant deer alone, do not initially fear that it is orphaned and needs your help. It is common to find fawns alone during the spring and summer months, particularly during the fawn’s first month of life. Due to its inability to keep pace with its mother in the weeks following its birth, a doe will often bed a fawn down during the day as she searches for food and feeds. Does may also leave their young alone during the day to lure predators away from the fawns. The doe will come back at intervals or after dusk to nurse and care for her young. The fawn is protected from potential predators while its mother is away by its color, which provides camouflage in grassy and wooded areas, as well as its lack of a strong body odor. Thus, touching or coming too close to a fawn may put it in danger of being attacked by predators because your body odor could lead predators to the fawn’s location. If you have discovered a fawn, the best policy is to enjoy from a distance unless the fawn is obviously injured or constantly crying for more than three hours. Even a fawn has been orphaned, if a large enough deer population exists he or she may be adopted by another doe or if it is late in the season the youngster might be old enough to make it on its own. Because each situation is different you should still ALWAYS contact a local rehabilitator to confirm your suspicions before intervening.
Chronic Wasting in Wisconsin
Threats of chronic wasting disease limit wildlife rehabilitators in many southeastern Wisconsin counties, including Waukesha. Until 2014, the Wildlife In Need Center was unable to accept fawns due to this disease for approximately 10 years. We can now accept fawns from certain southeastern Wisconsin counties. Regulations relating to this disease and its management in Wisconsin can be found by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
If you have any questions concerning fawns and/or potential fawn emergencies, please contact the Wildlife In Need Center at (262) 965-3090.