Mississippi wildlife officials have a simple message for people who encounter seemingly abandoned deer fawns — leave them alone.

Summer is officially here and with it comes the season for does to birth fawns. Simple deer biology will have the does leaving fawns alone to lower the risk of being discovered by natural predators.

As in every fawn drop period, many Mississippians will come across a newborn fawn this summer and mistakenly think the fawn has been abandoned or is sick, and want to take the fawn home to care for it. 

Mississippi law prohibits the capture, possession, or caging of any wild animal including deer fawns. 

Early in life, it is normal for fawns to be alone for most of the day. Does take great care of their fawns and purposefully leave them bedded and hidden, returning several times a day to nurse them. In just a matter of weeks, the fawns will be up following her and able to out-run predators.

“If you find a fawn, leave it where it is,” MDWFP deer project coordinator William McKinley said. “Enjoy that you got to see it, but it consider it a rare encounter and leave it alone. Do not interfere with that natural cycle.”