I'm going to preface this post with a big, huge DO NOT TOUCH BABY DEER
Fawns are often left alone all day while their mamas do their thing, thus not drawing attention and keeping the babes safe. They're born without scent, so your dog and other predators don't even know where they are (cool, right?).
IF you find a fawn and it seems distressed, there are a few things you can do to help:
Firstly, observe. If the fawn has been in the same spot (say in your yard) for days and you've seen no sign of mama, it may be time to step in. Don't hang around to watch for her though; with the presence of humans, she likely won't return.
Call the conservation officer before you do anything else. In Kelowna the number is +1 877-952-7277.
Check the fawn for dehydration by gently pinching the skin on its back. If the skin snaps back to its original position (and it is not injured) then the fawn is fine - leave it alone. If the skin stays in the tented position and the fawn seems lethargic then it is possible that it has not been fed recently. (Full credit to the Virginia Beach SPCA Wildlife Program for this info, you can read the full article by clicking the link)
Now, check this out:
This is Cassie with Peggy the deer. Yup, that's right, a deer.
Cassie's mom was visiting one of our local wineries with a friend when the staff there got talking about an abandoned deer in one of the vineyards. Conservation had been called in days previous and hadn't come yet. They'd been watching the fawn carefully and it was beginning to get sick. Cassie's family used to operate a deer farm, and has tons of experience with the animals, so her mom asked to see the little babe. So Peggy (lovingly named after their Grandma) got to come home that day to the farm.
Cassie's house is my dream. There are 3 goats (Todd, Copper, and Prince), 2 donkeys (Eeyore and Donkey Kong), a budgie named Princess Banana Boots, a kitten named Dixie, a cat named Chester, 2 ducks (Disco and Lucky), and 2 dogs (Daisy and Layla). None of them seem to mind the presence of a deer, either. Except maybe Princess Banana Boots who was a little confused at the big nose sniffing her cage.
At first, Peggy got bottles every 4 hours, day and night; but now that she's getting older she gets to eat veggies, too, so only 3 or 4 times a day does she get bottle fed. She loves bananas (not the bird, the fruit) and eats them like a human would. She's also eaten just about every berry the garden grew this summer, but the family doesn't mind.
Peggy is totally free to come and go as she pleases. They turned the electric fence off for her so she can roam; but she generally follows Cassie around the property (if we aren't following her trying to take photos) and into the house, hoping for another treat.
"She jumped on my bed for the first time yesterday," Cassie says, passing a piece of zucchini to the baby deer, "I'm hoping by winter she just wants to hang out in there with me all the time. She doesn't like to be picked up or anything; we don't force her, she's just learning [mostly] from the dogs."