DWR is asking that newborn elk and deer be left alone

May 28, 2024, 12:58 PM | Updated: 6:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY As the summer season begins, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is asking anyone heading into the mountains to be mindful of newborn deer and elk.

Deer fawns and elk calves are often born during June, according to the DWR. The DWR is asking any outdoor enthusiasts who come across a fawn or a calf to leave it alone.

The DWR said most times a deer fawn or a elk calf being let alone is a way of its mother protecting it.

“Newborn fawns are actually frequently alone and isolated during their first weeks of life — and that’s on purpose,” said Dax Mangus, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources big game coordinator in a news release. “The mother knows that leaving the fawn alone is the best way to protect it from predators.”

The DWR is asking any outdoor enthusiasts who come across a newborn deer or elk to leave it alone. (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

According to the DWR, newborn big game animals fall into one of two categories — followers and hiders.

  • Followers: These include bison calves and bighorn sheep lambs, which follow their mothers a short time after they are born.
  • Hiders: Deer fawns and elf calves do the opposite. They hide for most of the day during the first two to three weeks of their lives.

The DWR said a doe deer will meet up with its fawn for a short time. During this time, the doe will nurse and take care of its fawn. For the protection of the newborn, the doe will then leave the fawn and spend the rest of the day resting and feeding.

What you should do if you see a newborn deer or elk

The DWR has provided several tips on what people should do if they come across a newborn elk or deer.

  • Don’t approach it.
  • Don’t touch it or pet it.
  • Give the animal a safe distance.
  • Never attempt to remove the animal from the wild.

By ignoring these tips, the DWR said people are not only putting themselves at risk, but it can have fatal consequences for the animal.

“Keeping your distance and not touching wildlife are essential to keeping young animals alive,” Mangus said. “Attempting to take matters into your own hands and trying to ‘help’ wildlife usually does more harm than good. Help wildlife by allowing them to remain wild.”

Reports of any sick or injured newborn animal can be made by contacting the nearest the DWR office.



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DWR is asking that newborn elk and deer be left alone