Unattended white-tailed deer fawns encountered in the wild should not be disturbed, according to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Deer Program biologists. LDWF is reminding the public the best practice is to leave them alone and to remember it is against the law to capture or possess young deer or any other wild animal.

Quiet departure from the area is recommended if a fawn in encountered.

Though they may appear to be vulnerable and in need of assistance, newborn fawns rely on concealment during the first few weeks of life.  Does only return periodically to briefly nurse the young fawn during this stage of life. The lack of flight and absence of the doe creates an illusion of abandonment. This adaptive strategy along with their spotted coats, that provide camouflage, provide the best opportunity for survival.  However, as fawns grow and develop, they will begin to forage for food alongside the doe. 

Deer typically fawn April through August in Louisiana. A fawn is most vulnerable to predators during the first few weeks of its life. Does may forage nearby but they are sometimes out of sight as to not alert predators to the location of the fawns.  Does typically nurse newborn fawns 4-5 times per day.  

Do not call a wildlife rehabilitator for situations regarding a fawn or adult deer. Wildlife rehabilitators are not permitted to take any fawns or deer without prior approval from LDWF. Instead, contact your local LDWF office at the numbers listed here https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/contact-us. For more information on injured or orphan wildlife go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/injured-orphaned-wildlife.

For more information, contact LDWF Deer Program Manager Johnathan Bordelon at jbordelon@wlf.la.gov.