The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reminding everyone that a wild fawn should be left alone and undisturbed, even if the doe is seemingly not present in the area, according to a press release.

Each year LDWF receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they think is an “abandoned” fawn, which they sometimes bring home and then contact the department to retrieve and raise.

It is against the law to capture fawns or any other wild animal, and anyone possessing a wild deer without a permit, even a well-intentioned citizen, could be subject to citations and fines, the release states.

“Picking up fawns seriously diminishes their chances to live a normal and healthy life,” Scott Durham, LDWF’s deer program manager, said in the release. “When a fawn is born, it is weak, awkward and unable to move quickly enough to escape predators. Its primary survival mechanism is to remain still and hidden. 

“The newborn fawn has a coat of light reddish brown hair liberally covered with white spots that provides excellent camouflage. The doe will remain in the area to feed and nurture the fawn.  When the young deer gets older and stronger it will be able to forage for food with its mother.”

If you encounter a fawn, Durham suggests simply leaving it alone and quietly departing the area.