Injured or orphaned deer

Adult deer

Most injured deer are the victims of collisions with vehicles. Unfortunately, there are few medical options for injured adult deer. They are severely traumatized by being captured and their fear can result in further trauma or death.

If the deer is down and unable to get up, the most humane option is to have the deer destroyed to prevent prolonged suffering. Contact your local DNR conservation officer, police department, or sheriff's department and report the exact location of the deer.

If you observe an injured deer that is able to move and walk, call a wildlife expert to help evaluate the situation. You may provide assistance to the animal by establishing a feeding station containing cracked corn, apples, sunflower seeds, and alfalfa. Provide protection so the animal may rest by keeping dogs and humans away from the injured deer.  There may be a local ordinance that prohibits the feeding of wild animals. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife facility, or a wildlife veterinarian as soon as possible.

Fawns

If the fawn has an obvious injury, is bleeding, feels cold or looks sick, is attempting to move away but is falling over, or crying or whimpering for more than one hour, this animal needs immediate help. Please review our Emergency Care information.

If the animal is not injured, review this information to further determine whether your wild animal needs assistance.

If you have found a fawn alone, the doe may only be off browsing for food. Fawns do not travel with the doe for the first few weeks of life. The doe will leave her fawn nestled in a safe place to await her return. Leave the fawn alone at this point and keep all children, pets, other humans away from the area. You may want to check the roads and roadsides in the area you found the fawn to see if there is a dead nursing doe. If none is found, you will want to observe the fawn from a distance. The doe may be hesitant to return if you are near by. Be patient. The doe may not attend to her fawn for several hours depending on the activity in the area. If the fawn has been left unattended for more than 6 hours, call Wildlife Exam Department for further advice during Animal Humane Society business hours.

If you are reasonably sure the mother is dead, the orphaned fawn will need immediate care. Carefully place the fawn in a warm, darkened enclosure with adequate ventilation. Provide the fawn with warm bedding that has no strings or loops to entangle the fawn’s legs. If you use a carrying kennel you must cover the inside of the wire door with cardboard to prevent leg injuries. Never place the fawn in a wire cage where its legs could be entangled. When you transport the fawn, the container should not be tall enough for the fawn to stand up. He will be safer in a nestled position.

Do not attempt to feed the fawn until its physical condition is assessed. Never feed cows’ milk to a fawn.

Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife facility, or a wildlife veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not keep the animal at your home longer than necessary. Get the animal professional help as soon as possible.

 Animal Humane Society's Golden Valley location provides care for all wild animals except skunks. We will provide phone advice for skunk situations. Please bring your wild animal directly to the Golden Valley location. If you need further advice or assistance you may call the Wildlife Exam at (763) 489-2223.