Conservation Officers are reminding concerned animal lovers that it’s normal for newborn fawns to be left alone by their mothers.

Conservation Officers are reminding concerned animal lovers that it’s normal for newborn fawns to be left alone by their mothers.

Urban herd goes forth to multiply: It’s fawning season in the East Kootenay

Local Conservation Officers are warning Cranbrook and Kimberley residents to learn what to do around newborn fawns and their mothers

  • Jun. 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.

It’s that time of the spring: fawns are being born right now around Cranbrook and Kimberley, and local Conservation Officers want to get the word out.

The message is double: first, remember that a newborn fawn on its own is not necessarily orphaned.

And more importantly, watch for aggressive does and turn around if you encounter one.

Conservation Officer Jared Connatty said that fawns began to be born last week and will continue for about the next week.

“So now is a really critical time,” he said.

Connatty said that already the Conservation Officer Service has been receiving lots of calls about orphaned fawns.

“People see a fawn laying there and they automatically assume that is an orphaned fawn,” he said.

“Just because you see a fawn laying there does not mean that it’s abandoned.

“It’s perfectly natural for a doe to leave that fawn in one spot for hours – up to a day or so – to go and forage on her own.”

Connatty said that after giving birth, does will leave their fawns to go off and feed, which they can do more effectively on their own.

Fawns, like elk calves, are born scentless – a natural defence mechanism that makes it difficult for predators to find them. When they lie in long grass, their spots help to camouflage them.

“It allows the doe to get away and forage and potentially evade predators – leave the fawn stationary and draw predators away,” said Connatty.

It’s important not to touch or move a newborn fawn you may encounter, he went on.

“If you move that fawn or relocate it, the doe doesn’t know where you’ve put it,” he said. “She’s leaving it in a strategic place so she knows where to come back and get it.”

Connatty has seen cases where a doe left her fawn for a day and a half, but did come back for it.

A more concerning public warning is for Cranbrook and Kimberley residents to beware of does that may be protecting newborn fawns at this time of year.

“Aggressive deer is more concerning to us because it’s a public safety matter,” said Connatty.

“Right now, when they have fawns they become very defensive and protective of that fawn.”

People who are accompanied by a dog should be particularly alert, he went on.

“Dogs trigger a defence response when there is a fawn in the area for that doe. It’s a natural response. A dog is the same as a coyote to her, and it could be a potential threat to her fawn.”

Avoidance is the key if you encounter a doe who seems to be on edge.

“It’s really important for folks to recognize that if they see a doe that has her ears perked up and she seems to be looking around and on guard, well, she probably is and it’s time to take a different road or trail.”

If your dog is attacked by a doe, drop the leash, Connatty said, because it is safer for you and gives your dog a better chance of getting away.

“First off, you want that dog to be able to escape on its own and you’re not doing him any favours if you’re holding him up from escaping from the deer. Second, you put yourself in jeopardy when you become involved with the attack.”

To help your dog, try to scare the deer off by yelling and throwing things at it.

“Those are all appropriate things,” said Connatty. “But it’s important to take people’s safety as the main priority.”

You can report aggressive deer and other wildlife issues to the Conservation Officer Service by phoning 1-877-952-7277.

Meanwhile, the City of Cranbrook is giving residents advice to protect their yard from deer damage.

The urban deer population – both mule and white tail deer – are active in many areas of the community this spring, looking to make a meal out of many plants and shrubs.

Mule deer eat a variety of herbaceous plants and grasses during the summer, even though they are primarily browsers of shrubs.

There are a few techniques that can be used to protect your property from deer damage.

“With a combination of landscaping with deer resistant plants, fencing, hazing techniques and deer repellents, you can protect your property from deer damage,” said Mayor Wayne Stetski. “Fencing is really the only guaranteed method to preventing damage from deer in your yard.”

In Cranbrook, bylaws limit the height of fences in the front yard to one metre, and 1.8 metres in side and back yards.

Local nurseries can help you choose deer resistant plants for the local climate.

The City of Cranbrook has an information brochure, “Living with Urban Deer”, which is available for pick up at City Hall or by downloading a copy at

The Ministry of Environment website also has much information on how to reduce deer conflicts in your yard.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Jim Webster displays one of the 50 ski chairs he recently purchased from the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR). After around 50 years of use at the Kimberley Alpine Resort, Webster is now selling the chairs for $500 each to raise funds for a local parks project. Paul Rodgers photo.
Jim Webster sells vintage Kimberley Alpine Resort ski chairs for park fundraiser

Marysville resident Jim Webster recently came into possession of some Kimberley history;… Continue reading

Stock photo courtesy Cliff MacArthur/
Double-murder trial in case of Cranbrook couple killed adjourned until January

A trial has been adjourned until January for two men charged with… Continue reading

Cranbrook Community Theatre (CCT) is presenting virtual visits and live letter readings with Santa, from Friday, Dec. 11, to Sunday, Dec. 13. Photo contributed
Cranbrook Community Theatre hosts Santa’s virtual visits and letter readings

Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Santa Claus is at large… Continue reading

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Amanda Weber-Roy, conservation specialist for BC Parks in the Kootenays. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read