Baby Deer Likely Birthed in My Yard, First Steps Caught on Camera
The weather was perfect for yard work yesterday and that's what I had planned to do. My lawn has needed a little TLC since the drought hit us pretty hard and it's been too hot to sit and pick weeds out of my rock bed.
When I left for work, I noticed something balled up in my front yard, nestled by the front step. I thought it was a piece of trash and told myself I'd pick it up when I got home that afternoon.
Of course, I got home around 2:30 p.m. and completely forgot about the trash I saw in the front yard. I gathered up my gardening supplies and low and behold, sitting in my rock bed was a baby deer. It actually freaked me out at first because I wasn't expecting a BABY DEER to be sitting in my rocks...in Sartell. The little fawn was the 'trash' I thought I had seen in the morning. So, I knew the deer must have been there all day.
I couldn't figure out where the deer's mother was. It wasn't exactly hot outside yesterday so I wasn't too worried that the baby was laying out in direct sunlight.
Still, I'm an animal lover and natural worrier, so I called up the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and spoke with a conservation officer. I wanted to know if there was anything I should be doing to help out the little guy...or girl. Perhaps, offer it up some water?
But, what I found out from the DNR was great advice that I want to pass along just in case this happens to anyone else.
Their first piece of advice is, "if you care, leave it there.' Yes, as cute and sweet as the baby deer looked, the best thing you can do is just leave it alone and give it space.
Often times the new mother will leave her baby in a 'safe place' while she is out eating food and building up her milk supply. It's totally normal for a mother to leave her fawn for a whole day.
According to Central Minnesota Wildlife Rehabilitation, "newborn fawns and calves have no scent and are born with natural camouflage to hide them when they are lying on the ground." That's probably why I didn't notice the deer right when I got home. It was nearly the same color as my rocks.
If you do happen to touch the deer (which you shouldn't unless it's in immediate danger or harm) you should rub the area with grass to help take away your scent.
Contrary to popular belief, the mother will not abandon her baby if there is human scent on them, but it's best not to touch them.
I gave the deer some space, weeded the rock beds on the side of my house and carried about my business. All of a sudden, I looked up and saw the baby deer standing about 4 feet away from me, just peeking at what I was up to. I backed away a bit and went to sit on my deck to give it more space.
I started filming and caught a cool moment on video...what is likely the baby deer's first steps! How neat! Check out the video below.