Deer and Fawns

Sleeping fawns like this do NOT need your help.

Deer

If you’re calling regarding a sick or injured deer, please call 719-227-5219 from Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Before and after these hours, please call State Patrol 719-544-2424.  EWRC refers all calls regarding deer to these numbers.  We are not able to pick them up and bring them to rehab.

EWRC receives calls concerning deer calls from the public year-round usually in regard to injured deer and dead deer removal. For several reasons, including disease and limited resources, rehabilitators are NOT licensed to provide care to deer. Only a couple rehabilitators statewide are licensed for fawns and EWRC is not one of them.

Removal of dead deer on private property is up to the landowner. Dead deer on roadsides are removed by the city, county, or state government, not by wildlife rehabilitators.

Fawns

A lady called from Black Forest the other day. She and her grandchildren were pulling into their driveway when one of the kids noticed a tiny spotted fawn curled up near some bushes in the yard. The lady did exactly the right thing-she brought the kids into the house without approaching the quiet baby, and proceeded to call for help. I explained to her that if she watched from the house, keeping the kids and pets away, the doe would care for the fawn and move it when she was ready. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.

The number of fawns picked up by people each year far exceeds space and resources for them in rehab, and most are euthanized. This is why it’s important, if you care about the fawns, that you LEAVE THEM ALONE unless you SEE a dead mother nearby. Those are the only fawns that are taken to rehab.

Fawns are born without a scent, whereas adult deer DO have a scent that attracts predators. Remaining with a fawn could draw predators to her baby, so the doe will leave the baby in a place she feels is safe and retreat to a safe distance nearby, keeping a close eye on her baby. When the mother is ready and able, she will move the fawn herself.

This is a critical time for these animals and the time they usually find trouble in the form of unsuspecting humans picking them up and moving them around, trying to provide care, and by pets harassing them as well, all of which are illegal. Unfortunately fawns can be tamed, deeming them a potential nuisance (and I think we have all seen examples of how those end up, always very badly for the animal) and not releasable to nature.

A fawn that needs help will likely be up walking around and bleating. If this is the fawn you’ve encountered, or if there is a dead (usually car-hit) doe nearby, this fawn will need help from an experienced, licensed fawn rehabilitator at the discretion of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

PLEASE do the right thing and don’t be a baby-napper! This could be a death sentence for the animal, whether it’s a fawn, bunny, bird, whatever. If you need help there are various agencies available to help but don’t try to take matters into your own hands. Oftentimes we get the call when the animal is dying because of improper care by people who want to help but don’t know how. Bringing a fawn inside and giving it cow’s milk can kill the fawn.

Remember that is against the law to possess and/or harass ALL wildlife, including birds, and if you notice suspicious activity (scoping/poaching) please report to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. You can remain anonymous.

Also remember, wildlife rehabilitators are unpaid volunteers and some are nonprofits that rely on your donations to help care for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, so please help them out if you can by donating funds, supplies, or by volunteering your time.

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