Young Deer Alone

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Every spring people come across young deer alone in the undergrowth and some worry that these young animals have been abandoned by their mothers. 

This is not the case; the young deer has been carefully hidden while the mother is feeding close by.

Even if the mother does not appear to be in sight this does not mean that she has abandoned her offspring. Deer are naturally cautious of humans and the only thing stopping her returning to her young is the presence of people.

Most species of deer give birth between May and July, although muntjac can breed all year round. This is why it is more common to find hidden young deer in the Spring.


It is normal for a mother to leave a young deer hidden because it cannot keep up with her when she is feeding. As a young deer has little or no scent it is well-protected from predators if it lies still and the mother will return every two to three hours to feed it both day and night.

If you find a fawn or calf ,

  • Move away immediately
  • Do not be tempted to touch the deer or pick it up – your scent may stop the mother returning to feed her baby
  • If you have a dog, please keep it away from the deer and on a lead under full control

Hand-rearing young deer is not usually successful. Those that have been successfully hand-reared often do not thrive after re-release into the wild.

HELP keep young deer safe and spread the word .

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