Please, leave the fawns alone

Lexington County, SC 04/14/2021 - It's that time of year again in Lexington County and across the state of South Carolina. Mother deer, in this state Whitetail Deer, are having their babies like many other species. It’s a part of the natural cycle of life and why we have such a strong herd in our state.

On occasion, the mothers will leave their babies in "safe" locations while she forages for food and rests. She's likely not far and will return to get her baby soon.

It's part of nature's plan for a doe deer to leave her fawn or fawns alone for their first few weeks of life. This unusual maternal action is because the fawn is better protected away from the doe at this age, as the doe is a more visible target for predators.

After brief periods of feeding and grooming her fawn, a doe will spend much of her day feeding and resting somewhat removed from her young. The fawn ordinarily stays bedded down as if sleeping but will occasionally move short distances to new bedding sites.

Fawns are born during April, May, and June in South Carolina and will begin daily movements with their mother about three to four weeks after birth.

If you happen upon one of these precious fawns bedded down somewhere, do not be alarmed. Also, do not interfere or approach the fawn. If the mother sees or smells a human, she will not return to the fawn until you move away. Adept at staying hidden, many mother deer have stood quietly and watched as a well-meaning human being picked up her fawn and walked away. The human often thinks the fawn has been abandoned, but usually that’s not the case. Fawns grow into deer and deer are a wild animal. In SC, they belong to all citizens, not just one person who thinks it’s okay to have a pet few others may have.

If you notice a dead doe near the fawn, please call a wildlife rehabilitator. There's a list of rehabbers by location here:

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