Folks, Quit Messin’ Around with the Fawns and Wildlife

It’s that time of year when state wildlife agencies send out press releases urging folks to leave “abandoned” or “orphaned” deer fawns and other wildlife alone if they find them in the wild.

Does put fawns in specific places and don't abandon them. Typically the doe is nearby and can get to the fawn pretty quickly.

Does put fawns in specific places and don’t abandon them. Typically the doe is nearby and can get to the fawn pretty quickly.

It’s that time of year when folks at wildlife facilities and organizations get telephone calls or emails about finding a fawn and wondering how to care for it. Or what to do with it.

It’s that time of year when game wardens hear about folks who have found fawns or small deer and are raising them in captivity. In many states this is illegal without proper licensing or permits from state agencies.

This time of year makes me want to hurl when I hear about someone finding the “abandoned” or “orphaned” deer. They’ve been hiking or doing work in the garden, or maybe even in the yard in their neighborhood that abuts woods or pasture.

They stumble across the tawny spotted fawn, usually curled up tightly and which I agree is beautiful, and are amazed that it didn’t sprint away from them. They scoop it up, amazed that it would be “abandoned” or “orphaned” and then rush home with it before calling someone for advice or trying to take care of it themselves.

Or they do something incredibly stupid, like this woman in California who tried to sell a deer on Craigslist.

Like the state wildlife agencies who send out the press releases, I’ll say this: leave the animals alone.

It mystifies me how many people still, in this day of an incredible amount of information available online, continue to do these things. Part of it is an inherent desire, I guess, to do something beneficial. But part of it is the “let’s save all animals, they’re just like us” mentality hammered relentlessly by anti-hunters and others influenced by the media, Disney-type movies (Bambi, talking animals, Nemo) and the animal “rights” organizations. The latter takes in an obscene amount of money yet edges into the emotional nooks and crannies of gullible folks to keep their budgets high and lobbyists happy.

Helping some animals can be a good thing. If I see a box turtle on the road, I’m going to try to stop and move it out of traffic. If I find a snake in our garage, I’ll relocate it unless it’s venomous and then it’s going to die.

But leave the fawns alone. Don’t mess around with them. They’re not abandoned or orphaned. Even if you find them in what you think is a weird place — a backyard flower bed, a weedy ditch beside a fast food restaurant near a small block of woods — leave ’em alone.

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