Every spring, the Horseshoe Bay Police Department receives dozens of calls from residents who see a fawn alone and assume that it is abandoned and needs our help. The reality is usually very different.
Does will leave their baby fawns “parked” in a safe place for up to 24 hours while they go out and forage for food. Unfortunately, the fawns often do not stay “parked,” and wander into our yards, looking for mom.
If we simply leave them alone, they will usually reunite with mom within a day. Even if something has happened to mom, the fawn will usually be adopted by a related herd member, such as an aunt or an older sister.
If we step in and hand raise the fawn it stands a slim chance of long-term survival in the wild. This is because they imprint easily, and can grow up thinking that all people are good and carry food. This leads them into close proximity with people, cars, dogs, and many urban dangers. Additionally, if the fawn reaches reproductive age, and has no fear of people, they become very dangerous, claiming “your yard” as “its territory”, threatening and even harming pets and children.
If you suspect that a fawn (or any deer) has been injured, do not attempt to move it. If you see an adult deer with a broken leg or other injury, leave the animal alone unless it can't stand up. Even though the injury may take a long time to heal, this is far preferable to the trauma of chase and capture. Wild animals' ability to heal and their adaptability of some injuries are quite amazing. If in doubt, call the police.