North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit for White-tailed Deer Fawns

Permit Description

A White-tailed Deer Fawn Rehabilitation Permit is required to take or possess an injured, sick, or orphaned White-tailed deer fawn for rehabilitation. It does not authorize the rehabilitation of adult White-tailed deer. Neither does it authorize any applicant to keep a fawn as a pet.
Remember, not all fawn found alone are orphaned or should be brought to a rehabilitator. A female deer will hide her fawn in vegetation while she goes off elsewhere to feed for several hours. Meanwhile, the fawn might look abandoned and alone, where oftentimes it’s just waiting for its mother to return.

Last Revised on 3/31/16

Permit Restrictions, Rules, and Conditions

No fawn rehabilitation permit will be issued until the applicant has constructed or acquired a facility for keeping fawns that complies with the requirements listed below and the adequacy of such facility has been verified on inspection by a representative of the Commission.

The minimum pen size for a primary fawn rehabilitator is 10 x 20 x 6 feet (width x length x height). The minimum pen size for a secondary fawn rehabilitator is 10 x 10 x 6 feet. We recommend that pen size should be increased as the number of fawns accepted at your facility increases during the fawn season.

The pen must be placed in an area away from any dog and human activity, both visibly and audibly. We recommend the pen be covered with fencing or other durable material to prevent predators, deer, or other wildlife from gaining access into the pen. The pen should be on a well-drained site containing natural or man-made shelter. The pen and shelters must be kept free of exposed wire, nails, or other protrusions that may cause injury to the fawns.

Facilities must contain the following:


  • A grain feeder with a shelter to keep/store the grain out of the weather and to prevent molding.
  • A water container.
  • A visual barrier (shade cloth or wooden fencing) around the entire pen.
  • A brush pile or other natural places for the fawns to get under or behind.
  • A floor covering such as grass, heavy ground cover, or shavings if the soil is bare—do not use hay, cedar shavings, gravel, or concrete.




Older fawns should be kept outdoors in the fenced area that is at least six feet tall. Fencing should be made of stockade type boards, wooden panels, or chain-link. Fencing made from wood must have minimal space between the boards so that fawns cannot get a leg or head caught in the fence. With chain-link, interior walls must be lined with shade cloth to at least four feet in height. This will serve both as a visual barrier and help prevent a fawn from getting caught in the wiring. Barbed wire, chicken wire, or any similar type of material is unacceptable.

Permits are issued to a single individual at least 18 years of age or older.

Unless indicated differently on license form, Fawn Rehabilitation Permits are valid from March 1st and will expire on December 1st of each year.

Download the current Fawn Rehabilitation and Captivity Rules from North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings and General Statute:



For more information on Facility Inspections, download a sample of an inspection form and instructions:



Sample of an Fawn Rehabiltation Annual Record and Phone Call Record forms:




How to Obtain Permit

Fill out a completed Fawn Rehabilitation Permit Application and submit to the Commission address listed at the bottom of the form.

Before filling out the application, please be sure that your facilities are ready for inspection and you are prepared for the interview and the assessment.

Download the Permit Forms

Permit Contact Information

Address:   North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 
Customer Service Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
 Phone: 1-888-248-6834 or  919 707- 0391
 Fax: 919-707-0292