State: Hey, hunters, leave those white-tail fawns alone

By The Associated Press

July 10 – Deer hunting in Mississippi maybe three months away, but the first part of summer in critical, too.

The warm summer months are when the white-tail fawns began showing up and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in Jackson is asking the general public to leave the animals alone.

According to William McKinley, a deer program biologist for the Department of Wildlife, people often think the young deer has been abandoned. The result has seen some young fawns taken home by humans to care for them, which is illegal in Mississippi.

Under Mississippi law, the capture, possession, or caging of any wild animal, including white-tailed fawns, is illegal.

“In late June, we begin receiving many calls and reports that someone has found a fawn,” McKinley said. “We always tell people the same thing. Leave the fawns alone.”

During this time of the year, McKinley said it’s common for the doe, or mother, to leave a fawn for the better part of the day.

When this happens, the doe will leave the fawn hidden in grass or thicket, but she will return several times during the day to check on her young.

The fawn, in its natural defense, will remain still to the point some people may think it’s sick or injured.

At a few weeks of age, it will be on its feet and will be able to follow its mother and outrun some predators.

“If someone finds a fawn in the woods, they should not touch it,” McKinley said. “People should remember that thousands of fawns do just fine without human assistance. I know it can be difficult, but people should keep their distance from the fawn.

“Count it a blessing that you were able to see it and walk away. The fawn has a much better chance at survival if it is left alone.”

In the majority of Mississippi, breeding takes place in December and birth is in late June. That translates into peak fawn dropping around the first couple of weeks into July.

In South Mississippi, late breeding dates could result in fawns dropping as late as October.