With a huge urban deer population, Kenora will soon become home to a whole herd of fawns. MNRF biologist, April Mitchell, says most deer are born between May 15 and June 15. She explains what you should do, if you find a fawn in your yard.
"The most important thing to do, if you find a baby deer in your yard, is to leave it alone. You really need to keep your pets and children away and inside, because mama deer is likely to return within a few hours, if she feels it's safe to do it. So, she might not return right away, if there's an audience. It's also really important not to touch the fawn or get close enough to leave your scent behind," she said.
Mitchell adds that while it may seem like abandonment, the female deer is actually protecting her baby by keeping her scent away from the fawn
"Although the baby deer learn to walk very soon after birth, they're not strong enough to go very far, or run away from predators. The mom will leave the babies hidden, while they're busy feeding and resting. So, mom is actually probably a lot closer than most people think, and because the fawns are born without scents, leaving them alone helps prevent the predators from finding them," she said.
Fawn season is part of the natural cycle of any deer population. One thing that's not natural is being hand-fed. Mitchell explains why feeding deer is not a good idea.
"Feeding deer can have negative impacts on the deer in several ways. The unnatural food sources can cause digestive health problems and lead to weakness and death in the animals. It may also increase the need for large amounts of food for the deer, and that changes their metabolism. There's also -- and this one's really important-- an increased risk of disease transmission, due to the concentration of animals at feeding stations," she said.
Mitchell adds that more deer in town also means more deer interaction with people in a negative way, such as becoming aggressive to protect their young or interfering with traffic. More deer in town also means they'll draw in more predators such as wolves.