Is that fawn really abandoned? What to do if you find one

Submitted photo

Fawns Best Left Alone

Those who find a fawn in their yard alone might assume that it’s been abandoned and try to interfere but there’s a good reason it’s alone.

Twin fawn found in field (see cover photo).

Fawns are actually born without scent and left alone by their mother as a protective measure against predators. Removing them from their location can break up a wildlife family and ultimately lead to the fawn’s death.

If a fawn is discovered, leave the area to allow the mother to return and prevent a predator from finding the location.

According to the Wisconsin DNR, a fawn’s best chance at survival is always with the mother, but a few indicators can determine whether interference is necessary. This includes if the fawn is injured, has flies, fly eggs, or maggots on it, is lying on its side, or wandering and crying for more than an hour.

Though well-meaning, food or water should not be provided to the animal since it may be the wrong diet for the animal, or it may not be in an optimal condition to receive it. It is also against the law to attempt to raise a fawn, which results in it becoming too tame to survive in the wild.

Wild Instincts, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Rhinelander, notes that fawns are more likely to wander and cry a little as they get older, but this is normal. The mother is likely off feeding a sibling or herself and will return.

If a fawn is found and may be in danger, call Wood County Dispatch Center at (715) 421-8700 to have an Ordinance Officer go to the location and assess the situation.


Published June 2019


How to Handle Wildlife this Spring

Kaylin S
Author: Kaylin S

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