Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

June 27, 2014

Finding a fawn: awesome

The Inside on Indiana's Outside


Greensburg Times

---- — Finding A Fawn

The other day I was headed home when I rounded a curve on the River Road and saw a fawn awkwardly walking along the edge of the heavy cover adjoining the woods. Seeing a newly born baby whitetail deer is truly an “awwwwwesome” outdoor experience. They are cute, appear to be very cuddly, and unfortunately to a lot of people, appear to be lost.

I stopped the pickup for a short time to watch the little rascal head off into the brush. I looked around to see if I could see the mother deer, but she was tucked out of sight. I’m sure, she was watching me.

The DNR will quickly tell you; Now is the peak season for encountering white-tailed deer fawns. If you come across one appearing to be abandoned, the best thing to do is leave it alone.

It’s common to see fawns by themselves. A mother deer will leave a fawn during the day, both to look for food and to prevent her scent from attracting predators to the fawn, which is nearly scentless. People often mistake a fawn as abandoned when, in fact, it is being properly cared for by its mother.

If you care, leave it there. Walking away is the best thing for the animal in almost all cases.

If you find a fawn, give the animal distance. The mother will not return if you are present, which may delay nursing for a hungry fawn. Most often, the mother will return at night or when no predators are nearby. White-tailed deer view humans as predators.

Even if you think the animal is injured, you still should leave it be. It’s best to let nature take its course. Wild animals are not pets. They may carry diseases and are not suited for captivity.

If you feel compelled to intervene, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Keeping a wild animal without the proper permits is illegal. Most people are not trained in animal nutrition and do not know how to raise a wild animal without it developing a dependence on humans. The result is an animal when released later, is unable to survive in the wild.

A list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators and their phone numbers is available online at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/5492.htm.

TIP For Hot Weather Bird Suet Feeders

Loading the suet feeder and handling bird suet cakes in the summertime is frustrating at best. The hot weather makes the suet cakes feel like you’re trying to work with peanut butter infused with bird seed.

A hot tip… rather a cold tip… put the suet cakes in the freezer. They stay nice and firm when unwrapped, and they aren’t soft and gooey to the touch.

’til next time,

Jack

Readers with questions or comments may contact Jack Spaulding by e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net or by writing to him in care of this publication.