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HELP! Baby deer abandoned???

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  • HELP! Baby deer abandoned???

    There is the tiniest little guy bedded down by the septic tank this morning. My dog spotted him there and despite a lot of barking, it never took off, and mama never came looking. Do mother deer often leave their babies, or should I assume she fare well on the major highway next door and start calling wildlife people/rescues? Cutest thing ever! I turned off the electric fence in case she couldn't get to him or something because of it, but usually they just tear it down jumping it, so I would assume that isn't the problem.

  • #2
    Leave the fawn alone. It's normal for them to bed down and hide while the mother goes off to forage.

    Their instinct is to remain still, in the hope that a predator doesn't notice them.

    Keep your dog inside for the day, and more than likely the fawn will be gone by dusk.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • #3
      I've only seen one case of a fawn abandoned on our farm, and the poor thing was fatally ill as it turned out. It died a couple of days after I turned it over to a licensed wildlife rehabber.


      • Original Poster

        I def haven't touched it. It's only like 10' from the house, and right beside my truck and trailer which I though was a little weird. We live next to an environmental reserve, and I'd think momma would have found a much better place to leave the little dude than beside my septic tank!


        • #5
          Yes...leave it alone, it's probably not abandoned. Mother deer will often leave their babies for several hours --then move them, sometimes moving them overnight.

          We had this happen a few times when we moved here...the old owners didn't have dogs and probably deer were hiding their babies in the scrub brush for years before we bought the house. But my dogs would find them sometimes.

          I was advised not to move a baby that has been hidden, even in a bad spot. And as difficult as it is to watch, if it dies the mother (often times 1st time moms) will learn how to choose hiding spots better.

          But, hopefully it will be gone tomorrow and the mom will find a better safe spot for it!


          • #6
            Leave it alone and keep the dog confined. Mom probably parked it there so she could go eat/drink. Nearly ran over one with a 4 wheeler once whose mom put it at the fenceline of the hay field and I was moving irrigation line. Little thing was still damp and I missed it by maybe 3 feet (and darn near didn't see it then). I left the field and mom snuck back in....saw her leading it out a couple hours later. If mom doesn't show up by late afternoon call the rehabbers.
            Colored Cowhorse Ranch
            Northern NV


            • #7
              I agree with everyone else. let it be. If it's still there tomarrow or is up walking calling for mom then it's probably safe to assume that mom is gone.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the help everyone. I'll leave him be and hope momma comes back for him


                • #9
                  Yep, I also concur on leaving it be. My lab and I stumbled across a fawn one morning on a walk behind our house. It was teeny tiny and we were literally just a couple feet away from it when the fawn finally popped up and took off. I ended up feeling bad and was quite worried about it, I hope it was able to find it's mom again!
                  Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
                  If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


                  • #10
                    Take pictures.

                    They tend to look just like one more cowchip laying all curled up there and are hard to see.
                    If you come up on one horseback and it gets up, when just a few days old, they will follow your horse and try to nurse and some horses don't like it.

                    Get away fast in circles and it will lay down again.


                    • #11
                      Relevant story (with fantastic pic):
                      Equus Keepus Brokus


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                        Take pictures.

                        No worries, that was first on the agenda this morning! He's kind of tucked between a couple big peices of wood that were lying around beside the fence and this big clay pot, which actually kind of matches his colouring. So I suppose, if I were a deer, that might make a good place to disguise him. My husband didn't spot him till I pointed him out.

                        Last year we found the front end of a baby deer on the driveway. Something had obviously got it. Poor momma ran around the neighbourhood for a week screaming for her baby. It was just heart wrenching.


                        • #13
                          Yup, leave it alone and take pictures!

                          When mowing hay DH will find an occasional fawn. They don't like to move for nothing, and it's heartwrenching to kill one with a mower (thankfully that hasn't happened in a few years). He'll get off the tractor and make it move, it'll move a few little ways away and lay back down- usually into unmowed hay- rinse and repeat, LOL! Mama eventually comes back to get baby and it's gone the following day.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                            Leave the fawn alone. It's normal for them to bed down and hide while the mother goes off to forage.

                            Their instinct is to remain still, in the hope that a predator doesn't notice them.

                            Keep your dog inside for the day, and more than likely the fawn will be gone by dusk.
                            Ditto this: Look at where this momma left her fawn...and the aftermath when neighborhood pets went to investigate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADGn1GABF0Q ETA: Momma deer is not happy when she spots a dog too close and stomps him pretty good...it is hard to watch (forgive me for not posting this warning earlier) The dog was injured but did recover...the owner can be heard screaming in the background. It was the neighbor and owner of the the cat the was doing the filming.

                            I was on a large trail ride (over 60 riders) when the trail went past where a tiny little fawn was curled up under a bush. The trail boss spotted it and stationed someone near by to warn riders that she was there and to give her a wide berth and not harrass or worry her....she remained right where she was absolutely motionless while more than 60 horses tromped down the trail 10 feet from her.
                            Last edited by PRS; Jun. 5, 2011, 02:04 PM.
                            "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                            • #15
                              Momma will come get him at sundown or shortly after dark. Just keep everything away from him till then. If she doesn't come get him, something has happened to her. Fawns are easy to raise but time consuming and do present some issues once grown. A wildlife rehabilitator is best.
                              Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


                              • #16
                                For those (like me) who are bothered by disturbing videos, please be warned that a dog is seriously injured by Momma Doe in this video (WHERE were the owners of that dog and cat anyway? Too busy videotaping? Good grief!).

                                Originally posted by PRS View Post
                                Ditto this: Look at where this momma left her fawn...and the aftermath when neighborhood pets went to investigate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADGn1GABF0Q
                                Equus Keepus Brokus


                                • #17
                                  Fawns are born with little or no sense of smell to their body so that predators can not detect them.
                                  Many ignorant humans "rescue them" because they assume the fawn was abandoned. The fawn was not abandoned, it was placed there by the doe, until the doe comes back for it.
                                  As posted earlier, do not move the fawn, do not get too close it either.


                                  • #18
                                    Ditto on leaving it, and putting your dog in.

                                    Wildlife rehabbers have a terrible time every year when a well-meaning person scoops up a fawn assuming it was abandoned -- try to feed, to make things worse.

                                    Like cattle, does leave or hide their babies and go off to forage -- and come back for them.

                                    In over 25 years with an active deer poplulation on my farm, I've only had one that truly needed rescuing. Blisteringly hot day, fawn yelling, hopelessly tangled in honeysuckle vine. It was very dehydrated. I syringe dosed with electrolytes and got it to a rehabber. They said it was a "good" rescue, and the electrolytes were exactly what to do. It survived and was returned to a national forest at weaning.
                                    Last edited by sid; Jun. 5, 2011, 09:17 PM. Reason: typos
                                    www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                    "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                    Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Well I went to a show, did my three hunter rounds and by the time me and the horse got back baby was gone. Glad to see that momma came back. Tks for all the advice! And now I won't panic next time it happens.


                                      • #20
                                        Leave it alone We actually had a set of twin fawns that were only a few months old when their mother was hit by a car...that was last year and they are still coming around our back yard together, perfectly fine. We were very worried at first, but just let them be and they made it...especially weird for twins.
                                        I WAS a proud member of the *I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday* clique..but now I am 30!!!!!!!!!!!
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