MALTA, Mont. –-(Ammoland.com)- Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds residents not to pick-up deer fawns or other young wildlife this spring even if they appear sick or in need of help.
What appears to be an orphaned animal usually is not. It’s natural for adult deer and elk to leave their young alone for extended periods of time while they are searching for food.
Young animals picked up by people are often abandoned by adult animals once human scent is transferred to them. Leaving animals alone is the best way to ensure that young wildlife is raised as nature intended —in the wild. So just remember the mantra of wildlife experts: “If you care, leave them there.”
To protect Montana’s deer and elk from the impending threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), FWP does not accept deer and elk brought in from the wild. An animal delivered to FWP must be returned to the site where it was found. If the animal can’t be returned to the wild, it will be euthanized.
The policy is necessary because CWD, a fatal neurological disease that affects deer and elk, is spreading in the United States and Canada. Although it has yet to be documented in wild populations in Montana, CWD is found in nearby states and provinces and an infected animal could spread CWD from a holding center back into the wild.
FWP also reminds dog owners to keep their pets leashed or close to their side this spring and summer so they don’t chase, injure or stress young wildlife. To learn more about living with Montana’s wildlife, visit the FWP Wild Things Web page at fwp.mt.gov and click on Living with Wildlife.