As the weather warms up, it’s common to encounter local wildlife while walking, hiking, or biking. When you see these critters, leave them be and do your best not to disturb their natural routine.
Fawns are a great example of animals that may appear around your lawn, garden, or local trails. Newly born whitetail deer spend many of their early days hidden and protected among tall grass, leaf litter, or other natural and man-made shelters. You may find them laying in a flower bed, alongside a trail, or even curled up in an open field. Mother deer will return to their fawns regularly to nurse but may delay their next visit if they detect human activity nearby.
For that reason, fawns and other animals should never be picked up. Young wildlife should never be fed, kept as a pet, or transported to a different location except by trained professionals. Wild animals are poorly adapted to living in captivity and can carry diseases harmful to humans. Leaving them where they are protects both you and the animals.
It’s very rare that the animals you encounter will be sick, injured, or abandoned. If you suspect something is wrong, contact your local DEC wildlife office.
Photo at top: Fawn in grass. NYS DEC photo.