Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Deer: Submitted by Caspar Kelly

First, be very careful because, yes, deer can imprint. Bringing a deer in the house is like the worst thing to do. Except feeding it while is in there. We learned this, and hope others will learn from our experience.

This whole tale is long and has good and bad.

The only reason we were concerned at all was that it was laying in the grass and weeds we mow and we thought it was dead. I had been out earlier with Gryffyn (one of our special dogs-for-autistic-children doing some drills, and it wasn't there. When my husband went out later he called me. "Come look."
I immediately thought that something was wrong by the tone of his voice.

"Is it something dead?"

He said yes, it's a fawn.
Sure enough it was lying there not moving a muscle. We pondered what could have happened and assumed something had attacked it, although all our dogs were up. Still, it wasn't bloody, but sometimes injuries don't show. Then all of a sudden I saw it breathe. It wiggled its nose and its ears, but it was rigid and wouldn't move when we touched it.

We assumed that maybe it had a disease. We keep penicillin here, so i said, let's try to shoot it with some. We call the vet to find out what to do and he says, call the game warden.

Well we live in the deer capital of the world and it took almost a half hour to find someone to talk to about wildlife. Of course if you were to catch more than your share of fish the game warden is right on top of you!

We put it in a box and brought it in to call. When i picked it up i could tell it was responsive and alert and i could feel the heart beating pretty strong, but it wouldn't stand or lift it's head.

Now we know that's what baby deer do. Their only defence is that they don't move and they are hard to see -unless of course they are lying on the lawn. The good part is that, it takes awhile to imprint -- longer than 20 mins -- and we didn't touch it much with our hands.

We placed it in a box and picked it up with a towel. We did not feed it or shoot it with meds (we keep a lot of meds for the farm animals and special dogs). The nature advisor said that the mom left it to go eat and would likely return. She said to just place it back on the edge of the woods near where we found it, keep the dogs away and wait until night, when the mother would likely return. So we laid it in tall grass, snapped a few pics and waited.
Sometime later, the mom deer came bak and reunited with the fawn.

Still, with all the concerns aside how often do you get to hold a baby deer -- even if it is with a towel. It weighed barely 5 pounds.

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