Injured Adult Deer: Please do not approach this animal, but instead monitor it at a safe distance. This is a dangerous animal and very difficult to help, even when injured. Please call your county’s wildlife officer to report the situation. If there is immediate public harm, please call your location’s non-emergency police or sheriff.
Fawns: During the months of May and June, Ohio residents begin to find fawns (baby deer) in their yards, under their porches, in the field behind their house, even hiding among their bushes and flower beds! It isn’t uncommon to find them placed in front of your doorway to your home. These babies are usually perfectly healthy and do not need any form of intervention from us. Their mother articulately places her babies (often twins) in our presence on purpose.
Leaving them like this is an adaptive behavior at its finest. The Whitetail Deer have realized that their main predators are even more scared of humans than they are. Also, that generally, in these areas, we are harmless, so during the daylight hours, she gives her young a gentle nudge to tell them to bed down and stay put where we would least expect it. She will stay away for as long as 18 hours and comes back for them around dusk each night when humans are not around. If there is more than one fawn, she will pick two different areas and put one fawn in the first location and take the other to a different location. This way, if one fawn is found by a dog, fox, coyote, etc., the other one will still be safe. These babies are often under three weeks of age, and they are very wobbly on their feet; because of this, they can’t keep up with Mom when she’s out foraging during the day. Not to mention, they don’t stand a chance at running away from predators when they are this young.
Each evening, right around dusk usually, mom will come back for her babies. Baby will stand up and do a little happy dance when Mom returns, and chances are she will nurse her fawn right there in your yard for you to see and take pictures. If all goes well for the fawn, she may use the same spot for her the next day. Consider yourself lucky to get to share in this experience! Please leave the fawn alone and let her mother return to her if at all possible.
However, there are distinct signs of an orphaned fawn. If the mother is visibly unable to take care of her young, please get help immediately. If the fawn is doing anything other than laying in a ball very still and motionless, it may need help.
What an incredible animal they are, and how lucky are we to have their trust to watch over their young while they are away.
If you think the fawn may need human intervention, please call:
Erica Miller Wildlife Rehab
Location: Miamisburg (Warren County)