Watching Out for “Abandoned” Fawns

Much of the deer habitat in Texas and the rest of the southern US is in fair to good condition as we head into the summer period. Central Texas’ spring forbs and wildflowers are taking a hit with the heat, but that’s a given once the typical spring rains fall off. Much of the south has been relatively dry since winter, but vegetation still looks good, thanks to sporadic precipitation, as white-tailed fawns hit the ground.

And speaking of fawns — I was driving through Burnet County this afternoon and spotted something running on the road about 1/4 mile ahead. As I approached, I slowed down and realized that it was indeed what I suspected it was — a fawn! Once my truck was within about 40-yards, the fawn dropped to the road (as in the photo above) and remained motionless. I grabbed my camera and snapped a photo to mark the occassion since this was only the third (second of the day) fawn I’ve seen this fawning season, all of which were spotted over the last 5 days.

Deer fawn on the road

I then jumped out of the truck to get a close-up, but the doe fawn jumped up and ran towards me as I approached, then she realized I was not mamma and ran towards the roadside grass, where she hunkered down. The wobbly-legged critter hit the grass, dropped down on her stomach, and didn’t budge. I then snapped the photos seen below. She couldn’t walk very well and probably wasn’t more than 48-ours old, but her natural instincts took over and she did only what her genes told her to do — be still!

And I was impressed by the fawn’s actions, but then I wondered why she had been out on the road at all. There didn’t appear to be a doe nearby, but the property on the east side of the road was thick with good ole hill country cedar (ashe juniper), so maybe she was around. But maybe not. Either way, sometimes fawns do get impatient. It’s a curse that plagues the young of all species, including humans it seems.

Fawns may appear abandoned, but they are notFawns may appear abandoned, but they are not
Fawns may appear abandoned, but they are notFawns may appear abandoned, but they are not

An unknowing person may have intercepted the fawn as “abandoned,” but the fawn is not. The fawn may wonder a little ways, but mamma doe will find her and everything will be just fine. Talk to just about any outdoor amateur that lives in “deer country” and you will soon find out that they have found “abandoned” fawns near their house, in a field, or while… insert any outdoor activity here. And then folks with good intentions swoop in to raise the lonely fawn. However, what many people don’t realize is that instead of rescuing a fawn, they are simply abducting one.

So yes, the fawns are dropping the temperature is rising, but tell everyone to leave those abandoned fawns alone.

2 Replies to “Watching Out for “Abandoned” Fawns”

  1. Hi Buck Manager, I believe you’re right about this. I have read and been told that it is also inappropriate to touch or pet the fawn as well. Do you or your sources agree? Also, there are rescue folks out there affiliated with TP&W who will take truly orphaned deer, as these fawns require special milk and diet as they grow. Thanks.

  2. Hello, this is a true statement! I know many people want to touch and cuddle and keep these young fawns when they see them because they assume they are abandoned, but indeed the fawns are most likely not. Touching the so called “abandoned” fawn will only most likely turn it abandoned. Many people find it okay to touch them but it’s not. I know this and I’m only 11! Good idea getting that out there.

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