You’re already seeing it pop up across social media. People posting pictures of themselves in a field with a brand new baby fawn. Wisconsin DNR officials are reminding you of a message your mother may have shared, “You can look – but don’t touch!”.
Bob Nack, Big Game Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, says that most of our whitetail deer babies will be born within 10 days of the Memorial weekend. That’s by design! Nack says Mother Nature wants to give those babies every advantage so they can grow and thrive and make it through a Wisconsin winter. He says hiding babies in tall grass or brushy areas is also by design. “You may not see her, but chances are that doe is probably within 100 yards of that fawn,” Nack says. She’s trying to distract from possible predators finding her baby – so she hides them.
In fact she may hide them so well, that farmers may need to exercise elevated caution if they’re making hay. “They’re taught not to move,” Nack says – so be careful when bringing equipment in.
Nack says it’s natural that people want to help protect baby wildlife of all types – but the same rule applies – hands off! Nack did say they’ve initiated a different monitoring program for people that want to follow fawns in southwest Wisconsin. It’s a new program this year where people can pair up with DNR specialists actually looking for fawns in the wild. It’s part of a CWD monitoring program. DNR staff need help from volunteers to place radio collars on newborn fawns in southwest Wisconsin.
Most fawns are born in late May and early June, and once again volunteers will be vital in reaching the department’s goal of 100 collared fawns in 2017. Volunteers work alongside DNR search teams in southwest Wisconsin on foot to find fawns hidden in grassy fields and wooded underbrush.
This process is very labor-intensive, but also an incredibly unique experience for anyone interested in Wisconsin’s wildlife. Volunteers can hold a wide range of duties, and will also have numerous opportunities to take photos and spot other wildlife in the area.
For details on the fawn collar program, or more on babies in Wisconsin wilderness, search the WI DNR website.