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Could a mother deer smell human scent on its fawn?

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  • Could a mother deer smell human scent on its fawn?

    A few years ago, I was cutting down a small dead tree, and noticed a fawn sitting just a few feet away. I walked over to see it, and I couldn't help but pet it. This makes me wonder, might a doe abandon her fawn if it were to smell human scent on it?

  • #2
    I believe it can happen but I'm not sure if that's normal or not. I know my buddy had an abandoned fawn in his yard a few years ago and the DNR told him not to touch it

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    • #3
      If deer can smell human scent in the air, and at some distances, I would have to think that it would be of no problem to smell scent directly applied to one of it’s fawns. Animals do not have the ability to reason things out, and thus their natural instinct of protection of offspring would in this case prevail and she would not abandon her fawn !

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      • #4
        I believe I once read that a mom will avoid her fawn for up to a full day if she senses danger, but they would rarely "abandon" a fawn. I think the leading cause of abandoned fawns is car crashes. They aren't going to abandon a fawn if the deer has human scent on it.

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        • #5
          Not being any kind of expert, this is what I've "heard".

          Never "touch" a fawn or any other "nature baby".
          It isn't so much about leaving your scent, it's more about the young "attach" to mom. If they are extremely young (a day or two old) and hungry, their hunger may drive them to attach to "touch", hoping it's mom and food.

          I've tried getting my hands on a week old fawn.
          Wasn't happening!

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          • #6
            Sure she could smell it,how she reacts is anybody's guess

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            • #7
              I heard a guy picked one up that was stuck crossing a paved road. Doe was on the shoulder watching. He took it to the shoulder and they both disappeared.

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              • #8
                This was a Question asked on Deer&DeerHunter a wile back, The Answer from the DNR was NO, They handle fawns all the time with no trauma.

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                • #9
                  I bet a bear could with their nose.
                  It don't bother Bears. The Game Dept. has tracking collars on some of the sows. When the Bears are hibernating they dart the mother, then start weighting and taking samples of the little Cubs, during February and March. I bet when she wakes up she smells human scent.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                    Not being any kind of expert, this is what I've "heard".

                    Never "touch" a fawn or any other "nature baby".
                    It isn't so much about leaving your scent, it's more about the young "attach" to mom. If they are extremely young (a day or two old) and hungry, their hunger may drive them to attach to "touch", hoping it's mom and food.

                    I've tried getting my hands on a week old fawn.
                    Wasn't happening!
                    I've kicked them up at handfighting range accidentally a few times. I suspect they'd be harder to grab than a feral chicken.

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