Deer are ruminant animals belonging to the family Cervidae (hoofed mammals). Male deer are called stags, harts, bucks or bulls while female deer are called hinds, does, or cows. Young deer are termed fawns or calfs.

The WMC is only capable of taking in fawns up until they lose their spots. For sub-adult or adult deer, either contact your local law enforcement agency or call the large animal clinic at 217-333-2000.

Does typically have one or two fawns at a time between May and September. Gestation is 6.5 months. A fawn’s eyes open at birth. They wean at 4 months, although the fawn can run with the mother up to a year.

A mother will often leave her offspring hidden in some tall grass while she forages for food. Rather than considering this abandonment, this practice actually serves to attract less attention to the fawn. The spots on the fawn’s back serve as a form of camoflauge, giving the effect of dappled light. To protect themselves from predators, fawns have no scent for the first month of their lives and typically lay motionless to attract little attention..

If you find an orphaned fawn: Deer can die easily from stress and capture, even days after the event. Keep the animal a quiet dark area. Fawns should not be rescued unless they are injured or you are sure they are orphaned. Be sure to watch from a distance for at least 4-6 hours to see if the mother returns. If you rescue a fawn, be very careful as they can easily bolt and break their legs or back. You could also receive injury such as a blow to your head or throat by a sharp hoof. Despite the size of their legs, fawns can be very strong. You might try wrapping a very small fawn in a blanket to control the legs.

If you have an injured adult, DO NOT try to move it. Call a rehabilitator or animal control officer immediately!

It is illegal to relocate, move, or bring in a fawn that is not orphaned. Make sure that it is indeed orphaned or injured!

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