Finding a Fawn: What to Do

I've found a fawn -- what should I do?

This question comes up every spring between April and early June, when fawns are typically born. 

You may see a fawn alone; however, it is not abandoned.

If you find a fawn:

  • Don't move it
  • Don't approach it
  • Do stay far away
  • Do keep babies and dogs away and inside to give the mother a chance to return

Yes, they're adorable, but leave them alone.

Fawn lying in the grass near a tree, alert and awaiting its mother's return

Please Do Not Disturb or Feed Fawns

Livingston has a large population of deer, and each spring they give birth. 

It has become increasingly common for residents to find a fawn lying in their yard. This is perfectly normal. The mother deer has “placed” that baby there because she feels that it is safe. These fawns are not abandoned.

There is no need for a fawn to be moved. A fawn does not have any scent for the first few weeks of its life; however, the mother does. She leaves her baby alone for hours at a time in order to keep from attracting predators, and will most often return at dawn and dusk. Just because the mother cannot be seen, does not mean that the baby is abandoned

Do not approach or touch a fawn. A fawn's strong natural instinct tells it to stay where it is until the mother returns. In fact, a fawn should not be approached or handled for any reason. It is possible for a fawn to become severely stressed to the point of going into cardiac arrest by being frightened at being approached or touched by humans. 

Do not try to feed or give water to a fawn. Until about 4 weeks of age, a fawn gets everything it needs from its mother. Trying to get it to drink can cause water to get into its lungs and essentially cause the fawn to drown.

Key Points

  • Needing to mow your lawn or let your dog out is not a reason for Animal Control to remove a fawn from your property. The fawn should only be there for a majority of the day.
  • Unless it's in immediate danger, such as sitting in the middle of the road, don't touch a fawn; if it is moving across the street by itself, leave it alone. 
  • If you see a fawn, walk away quietly, and always keep your dog on a leash, quiet and away from a fawn.
  • Give mother and fawn time. It is natural for a mother deer leave her fawn alone for long periods. 
  • If a fawn is lying quietly and is not crying more than a few calls, there is a very good chance its mother has been back and fed it recently and will return again.


  • If the fawn is in the same spot for longer than 24 hours, or is crying often, loudly and consistently, there is a possibility that there may be an issue. Only in these types of cases is it appropriate to contact Animal Control.

Livingston has many areas where homes are either in, or adjacent to wooded areas. It's important for us to understand that wildlife is a part of our beautiful town, and our co-existence is necessary.