June 22, 2024

By Jobe Edwards
Missouri Department of Conservation Conservation Agent – Jackson County

With the warm weather upon us, the amount of time we find ourselves outdoors has increased. This increased time spent outdoors inevitably leads to human and wildlife encounters. One common wildlife encounter you may find yourself in is with a baby deer, also known as a fawn.

An encounter with a fawn will most often occur with you simply stumbling across them while out enjoying some of the parks or conservation areas found throughout Jackson County. Other times, you’re looking out into your yard, and you happen to see one tucked up beside some bushes or around some form of structure. Regardless of when or where, one of the most important things you can do is keep your distance and leave them alone.

When you see these fawns left alone and the mother can’t be seen, your first thoughts may be that it has been abandoned, sick, or possibly injured. This is not always the case. One common practice of deer is to leave their young in places that they believe to be safe. The mothers do this for a multitude of reasons, one being to help keep the fawn clear of predators. When they do this, the fawn will curl up and sit very still to not draw any unwanted attention to themselves. The mothers will return to feed the fawn and move to new locations.

As previously stated, it’s very important not to disturb the fawn when you find one left alone. The unnecessary handling of the fawn can do more harm than good to both you and them. If you do come across an injured or truly orphaned fawn, you can contact a local Missouri Department of Conservation office or your county’s Conservation Agent for further assistance. You can find contact information for your area by going to mdc.mo.gov. You can also contact myself, Jackson County Conservation Agent Jobe Edwards, at 816-651-8867, with any conservation concerns in Jackson County.