LEAVE THAT FAWN ALONE!!!! (what to know if you find a fawn)

deer fawn
  1. Do not touch the fawn!
  2. Ninety-nine percent of “Fawn Calls” do not involve orphans.
  3. Generally, if there is no dead doe in the area or on nearby roads, the fawn is not an orphan.
  4. Fawns do not give off a scent. Often, does will not return to their fawns until well after dark, for fear of leading a predator to the fawn.
  5. Keep yourself and pets far away from the fawn. It may take a good 24 hours for a doe to feel safe enough to return to her fawn. If a mother were to return to her fawn prematurely, she might risk leading a predator directly to her fawn.
  • If the fawn has wandered into someone’s garage, or other precarious position, gently coax the fawn out or move to a quiet, nearby site while wearing gloves. Do not move the fawn too far.
  • Coyotes, dogs, cats, raccoons, construction, etc. are not reasons for fawn removal. These are things that deer must encounter on a daily basis in New Jersey. A mother deer will move her fawn away from danger if given the chance.
  • Fawns are born late May through the end of June, with the peak number born in early June. Mother deer often give birth at night in areas (such as people’s front yards) which may seem perfectly safe at night but differ drastically during daylight hours.
  • For the first 5 days after birth, fawns will not run when approached. Instead, they will exhibit “freeze behavior”. They lie still when approached, even permitting handling with little resistance. From the 7th day on, fawns will exhibit “flight behavior” when approached. By one month of age fawns venture out to browse with their mothers.
  • Above all do no harm! If the fawn appears to be orphaned or injured please call: Hopewell Township Animal Control: (609) 737-0120 or (609) 737-3100 nights & weekends.

The above applies to young fawns only (under 3 months of age).

Adult deer cannot be successfully rehabilitated. An adult deer who is injured (hit by car, etc.) and cannot get up and walk away on its own should be euthanized.

Call local police at (609) 737-3100 (non-emergency) for response for injured adult deer.

Contributed by Hopewell Township

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