Public asked to steer clear of deer

If you come across a baby deer, leave it alone and let nature take its course

They’re cute and everything, but baby deer belong in nature, not in somebody’s yard.

Local conservation officials are alerting the public that it is now the time of year when orphaned wildlife such as deer fawns are often happened upon by the public.

“The mothers, the does, will leave the fawns sometimes for up to two days in search of food, and come back to retrieve them from where they left them,” said Sgt. Josh Lockwood, conservation operations supervisor for the North Okanagan.

“If they’re handled by humans, they’re not likely to re-adapt being with their mother.”

If you come across a baby deer, leave it alone and let nature take its course.

“Wildlife parks are full and will not be accepting numerous amounts of fawns that people pick up on the side of the road or in their yard,” said Lockwood.

If you come across a fawn you believe is in distress, Lockwood said to call the wildlife biologist with the ministry of forests, lands and natural resource operations at 250-490-8200, and they will give you advice on what to do.

Lockwood also reminds residents it’s that time of year when bears are waking up from their slumber, and they’re hungry.

“Put the bird feeders away, spring is here, and birds don’t need to be fed,” said Lockwood. “If you hang bird feeders with sunflower seeds and stuff, you will have bears coming into your yard.”

Lockwood also suggests to clean barbecues and put them away and not to leave pet food out if you want to keep bears out of your yard.

If your yard is fenced, he said, make sure the gate is closed. If you don’t want bears in your unfenced yard, fence it.

“It does help,” said Lockwood. “Bears typically take the path of least resistance.”