You might be surprised to find a fawn alone in a quiet spot in your backyard, neighborhood or local park, and while it seems like an unusual spot for a baby to be, chances are its mother is close by.
“For the first few weeks of a white-tailed fawn’s life, the mother will hide it in secluded locations to keep predators from finding it,” said Hannah Schauer, wildlife communications coordinator with the DNR. “Predators are less likely to hang out near people’s homes, so for a mama deer it seems like a safe place to hide her baby.”
While fawns may seem abandoned, they rarely are. All wild white-tailed deer begin life this way.
“A fawn’s spots provide excellent camouflage and help it stay hidden from predators,” said Schauer.
If you find a fawn alone, do not touch it! The mother will return periodically to nurse her fawn when she feels it is safe.
Schauer said the best thing to do is to leave the fawn alone and enjoy the wildlife viewing experience from a distance. Leaving baby animals in the wild ensures they have the best chance for survival and helps keep Michigan’s wildlife wild.
Learn more by watching the video Finding fawns in Michigan.
Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators may possess abandoned or injured wildlife. Unless a person is licensed, it is illegal to possess a live wild animal, including deer, in Michigan.
Get tips about what to do if you find a baby animal in the wild and find a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators at Michigan.gov/Wildlife or contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.