Fawn just fine after being found motionless on side of Wildridge Road

Rick Spitzer
For the Vail Daily
A young mule deer appears to be abandoned Wednesday on the side of Wildridge Road in Avon. It is alive, and uninjured. Mom is feeding nearby.
Rick Spitzer/For the Vail Daily

Around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, an interesting event occurred with the wildlife in Wildridge when a doe left her fawn on the side of Wildridge Road East.

During this time of year, does will often leave their newborn fawns, but usually, they are hidden in tall grass or in bushes, not on a roadway.

Someone called the Avon Police. 

The police arrived and found that the fawn was lying absolutely motionless, something fawns are genetically programmed to do. There was no blood and no apparent injury. The doe was up the hillside, on the opposite side of the road feeding on the brush, seemingly unconcerned.

The officers did the exact right thing. They parked their cars some distance in front and behind the fawn to protect it. They made no attempt to touch, move, or haze the fawn. They also called the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office and got a confirmation they were doing the correct thing.

Support Local Journalism

The waiting game began. The officers directed traffic in cars and on foot past the fawn. After about an hour the doe came down to the fawn, the fawn got up, and they wandered off the road.

The mother is obtaining nourishment nearby from where she left her fawn. | Rick Spitzer/For the Vail Daily


This is the time of year when animals often seem to abandon their young. They do this because the young do not yet have the strength or the coordination to follow the adults. The adult still needs to feed to maintain their own strength and provide milk to their young.

When humans get involved, thinking the animal is injured or lost, things may not go well for that baby wildlife. If you find young wildlife, leave it alone. “Rescuing” an animal that doesn’t need rescuing actually decreases its chance of survival.

If there is an obvious injury, call a local wildlife rescue center or licensed wildlife rehabilitator for assistance. If there is nothing obviously wrong, do not touch or pick up the animal. Move away from the scene. The mother may be watching what you do.

Rick Spitzer is a renowned wildlife photographer and longtime local who lives in Wildridge. 

Support Local Journalism