Deer are born fully furred, open-eyed and able to walk almost straight away. However, such young animals are vulnerable to predators so they are left alone lying up in cover whilst the mother is away feeding. She returns at intervals to suckle them. The young deer’s spotted coat helps to camouflage it amongst the vegetation and it stays quiet and very still.
If you find a fawn, the chances are that it is waiting for its mother to return and isn’t an orphan. Move well away and if you have a dog, keep it on a lead. Take care not to touch the deer or cover it with anything, as you will leave an unfamiliar scent on it that will affect how the mother deer responds when she returns.
The stage at which fawns start to accompany their mothers varies between species. With young fallow deer it may be after about 10 days, but young roe deer may ‘hide’ for up to three months before regularly accompanying the mother.
If a fawn is obviously sick, injured or distressed then contact the RSPCA for advice via our 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999.
Other useful information:
Deer on a road
Types of deer in the United Kingdom
What to do with orphaned wild animals