by OFFICER BRADLEY J. (B.J.) MCCOY, KENTUCKY DEPT. OF FISH AND WILDLIFE:
For centuries our wild animals have successfully reared their young without the aid of humans. However, every Spring countless wild animals in Kentucky are harmed or even killed as a result of humans thinking they are doing a good deed by taking in young wildlife that appear abandoned. What they do not realize is that they are usually stealing the young from their mother.
Typically this sad story begins with someone mowing a field and spotting a newly born whitetail deer laying in the tall grass. They assume that the mother is dead because it is not seen, and bring the fawn home to raise. Not only is this illegal and dangerous, it also can cause an early death to the fawn. Fawns nursed and raised by humans, even for a short time, typically lose the natural fear of humans that keep them alive.
For the first few weeks of their lives, fawns will hide in tall grass or near the edge of a field until they are strong enough to keep up with their mother, who is never far away. The fawn may even bleet at times to communicate with her, this does not mean that the fawn is lost or abandoned.
Should you find a fawn this Spring, leave it alone. If you must move the fawn to continue your agricultural purpose, quickly move it to a nearby area that offers shade and cover that will not be disturbed.
Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549 or reach a Conservation Officer on the Report A Poacher Hotline at 1-800-25-ALERT.