Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Fish and Wildlife: Don't Take the Fawns (with Video)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 12:50 PM

click to enlarge Don't take the fawns. - CDFW
  • CDFW
  • Don't take the fawns.
Fawn season is here and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding the public that mother deer after hide their young in tall grass or brush, at times for hours, while out foraging.

“It is a very common mistake to believe a fawn has been abandoned when it’s found alone, even if the mother has not been seen in the area for a long period of time,” CDFW’s environmental program manager Northern Region Joe Croteau said in a news release. “It’s actually a survival strategy for the doe to separate from her fawns so as not to attract predators to the whereabouts of her young.”

Late spring to early summer is the peak time for the fawns to be born and CDFW often fields calls during these months from people who have taken the young deer, thinking they were abandoned, the release states.

Many times, the fawn are euthanized because long-term placements in zoos or wildlife facilities are limited and they can’t be returned to the wild.

Feeding or keeping deer is illegal and anyone who removes a young animal from the wild is required to contact the CDFW or bring the animal to a licensed wildlife center within 48 hours, the release states.

"To report an injured, sick or suspected orphaned fawn, contact your local CDFW regional office directly," the release states.

Read the full CDFW release below:

Late spring and early summer is the peak time for California’s deer herds to give birth to fawns, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is issuing a reminder to well-intentioned people to not interact with the baby deer – even if they find one that appears to be abandoned.

Adult female deer often stash their fawns in tall grass or brush for many hours while they are out foraging for food.

“It is a very common mistake to believe a fawn has been abandoned when it’s found alone, even if the mother has not been seen in the area for a long period of time,” said Joe Croteau, environmental program manager with CDFW’s Northern Region. “It’s actually a survival strategy for the doe to separate from her fawns so as not to attract predators to the whereabouts of her young.”

Each year, CDFW and wildlife rehabilitation facilities are called to assist with fawns that have been removed from the wild by concerned members of the public recreating outdoors. With limited long-term placement options in zoos or other wildlife sanctuaries, the animals often have to be euthanized since they lack the survival skills to be released back into the wild and can become dangerous and difficult to keep as they become bigger.

To report an injured, sick or suspected orphaned fawn, contact your local CDFW regional office directly.

Anyone who removes a young animal from the wild is required to notify CDFW or take the animal to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator within 48 hours. Only a limited number of wildlife rehabilitation facilities are licensed to accept fawns.

It is both illegal to feed deer and keep deer in your personal possession. Both crimes are misdemeanors, each subject to penalties of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail. Learn more about the dangers and consequences of feeding deer in this CDFW video.

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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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