The Commercial Appeal

MDWFP reminds folks to leave fawns alone

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Officials from the Mississipp­i Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks issued a statement last week, reminding people not to disturb whitetail deer fawns discovered alone in the woods.

During this time of year when deer are giving birth, wellmeanin­g people often believe fawns have been abandoned and end up taking them home. But the mother deer is usually somewhere nearby, and humans often end up doing more harm than good.

“We tell people the same thing every year — leave fawns alone,” said MDWFP Deer Program biologist Justin Thayer in a release. “Following deer breeding trends in Mississipp­i, the earliest fawns will appear in the northwest portion of the state and the latest in the far southeast reaches of the coastal plains. Remember, if you encounter a fawn, do not pick it up. Leave it alone.”

Captive deer often die from improper care, and most become too domesticat­ed to ever be released back into the wild. Keeping deer at home is also illegal across the MidSouth.

Adult deer often leave their fawns alone during the day to avoid attracting predators to them. But fawns are rarely truly abandoned.

Wildlife officials only recommend disturbing a fawn when it is in obvious distress or the mother has been killed.

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